Relocating With A Child Can Be A Sensitive Matter

Whether You Are Seeking To Move Or Want To Prevent One, I Can Help

Life changes following a divorce or the end of a nonmarital relationship often result in a parent's desire to relocate, sometimes to another state. Massachusetts courts consider the best interests of a child when ruling on child custody and parenting plans. This is true whenever a custodial parent wishes to relocate with a child.

Relocating to a different state with a child is known as "removal," and requires approval from Massachusetts courts. The law is in place to protect the rights of noncustodial parents and to preserve the child's relationship with the noncustodial parent. A move within Massachusetts that is far enough away to make a parenting plan difficult to follow may be viewed by the courts as similar to an out-of-state move. It is important to discuss any relocation with a knowledgeable lawyer before you move, even if your child's other parent is agreeable.

Resolving Removal Disputes Efficiently And Cost-Effectively

I am Rebecca E. Rogers, an experienced family law attorney who helps parents with removal and relocation issues, as well as all other family law matters. I work with clients in Essex and Middlesex counties and the surrounding counties from offices in North Reading and Lynnfield.

If you have a job opportunity in another state or another reason you wish to relocate, it is important to initiate the removal petition as soon as possible. The process can take several months to complete, even when your child's other parent is cooperative. The court may issue temporary approval to relocate with a child while it reviews your case in order to make a final decision.

If you have received notice that your child's other parent wishes to relocate with your child and you wish to prevent the move, I will help you seek a court order to do so.

What The Court Considers

In order to approve a relocation that is being contested, the court will want to see clear evidence that the move will benefit the custodial parent and the child economically, socially and emotionally. A judge will rule against a move if it appears the primary reason is to keep the child's other parent from seeing the child. Factors that weigh in favor of a move include:

  • A new job that will be financially advantageous for you and your child (including a transfer opportunity from a current employer)
  • An educational opportunity for you or your child in the new state that is superior to what is available in Massachusetts
  • Remarriage to someone who lives in a different state
  • Family, friends or other supportive community in the new state that do not exist in Massachusetts
  • Medical reasons for moving to the new state

If you share physical custody with the child's other parent, it may be more difficult to receive approval to relocate. In these situations, the court focuses on the best interests of the child more so than the advantages available to the relocating parent.

Get Answers To Your Relocation Questions

I welcome the opportunity to review our situation and answer your questions regarding relocation with a child. Call 978-957-7300 or email me to schedule a free consultation.