Relocation Lawyers Assisting Clients in Westborough, Ma and Surrounding Areas in Worcester County

Relocation is when one parent wants to move their child out of the state of Massachusetts. This happens when the parents share physical custody, and one of the parents wants to move out of state, the custodial parent wants to move out of state, orthe non-custodial parent already lives out of state and wants the child to relocate and live with them full time. In each of these scenarios, one of the parents will no longer see the child as often due to both parents no longer residing in the same state. There are laws and guidelines in place as the courts generally like to have both parents involved in their child’s lives, barring any issues with one of the parents that would be considered not in the best interest of the child.

O’Connor Family Law has extensive experience in dealing with this matter and is here to help protect your family’s best interests. Contact us at 774-703-3755 to find out more regarding your specific questions.

How Do I Relocate My Child to Another State? 

If both parents are in agreement with the relocation of the child, it is best to have it in writing, and you don’t necessarily need to get the courts involved. It is beneficial, however, to have an attorney draft a formal agreement to avoid unforeseeable issues that may arise in the future. Family law attorneys are there to assist you in avoiding errors that could create concerns and allow you to relax knowing you have handled the relocation appropriately.

We Can Help You Move Forward

When the parents are not in agreement regarding the move, the parent who wants to move the child will need to send notification to the non-moving parent and allow them to object and seek legal counsel. There are no specifics as to how to notify or how much in advance the notification should take place, but generally speaking, it is beneficial to allow as much notice as possible in writing, so you have documentation of sending it, as well.

The moving parent will need to provide proof as to why the relocation is in the best interest of the child, whether they are the custodial parent or not. The relocation of a child is guided by statute, specifically G.L. Chapter 208, Section 30. This statute reads: “A minor child of divorced parents who is a native of or has resided five years within this commonwealth and over whose custody and maintenance a probate court has jurisdiction shall not, if of suitable age to signify his consent, be removed out of this commonwealth without such consent, or, if under that age, without the consent of both parents, unless the court upon cause shown orders otherwise.” This statute can be interpreted to include non-married parents and divorced parents as well. This does pose the question of at what age the child is able to provide consent. Without a clearly defined age mentioned, the maturity level of the child, as well as their age, is taken into consideration.

Just because the relocation may be in the best interest of the custodial parent, this doesn’t always mean it’s in the best interest of the child. There are several factors that must be considered in this decision, including concerns of the non-custodial parent and their time spent with the child, as well as the adjusted parenting schedule based on the relocation and whether it is reasonable or not. Judges will review whether the life of the child will improve based on this move and how moving or not moving will affect their emotional, physical, and developmental needs. There may also be economic benefits to the child as a result of the move, or extended family closer to the location of the move that is taken into consideration. The bigger picture, in general, will be analyzed to determine what is best for the child. Let the experienced team of attorneys at O’Connor Family Law help you to determine the specifics of your case and what next steps to take.