Going through a breakup or divorce is never easy, and things can get even more complicated when children are involved. If you’re a parent in Massachusetts and your ex wants to relocate with your child, you’re likely feeling a range of emotions, from fear and uncertainty to anger and frustration. You’re not alone.
According to the US Census Bureau, nearly 24 million children in the country live with only one parent, and many of these parents have to navigate the difficult terrain of co-parenting and custody arrangements. In this post, we’ll explore what happens if your ex wants to relocate with your child and provide some guidance on how to handle this challenging situation.
If you’re going through a tough custody battle in Massachusetts, don’t hesitate to reach out to Davis Law Group. Our experienced family law attorneys, led by top Massachusetts child relocation lawyer Jay Davis, can help protect your rights and guide you through the legal process. We understand how stressful this situation can be, and we’re here to provide you with the support and advocacy you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you and your child navigate this difficult time.
Can My Ex Move Away with My Child?
The answer depends on a variety of factors, including:
Residency Requirements: If your child is a Massachusetts native or has lived in the commonwealth for the last 5 years, the state law requires that your ex obtain your permission or a court order before relocating with your child.
Child Custody or Visitation Order: If there is a court-ordered custody or visitation arrangement in place for your child, your ex will need your permission or a court order to move with your child.
Best Interests of the Child: Even if your ex does not have your permission, they can still petition the court to allow them to relocate with your child. In these cases, the court will consider the best interests of the child in making its decision. Factors the court may consider include:
- The reason for the proposed move
- The child’s preference (if the child is old enough to express a preference)
- The age and developmental stage of the child
- The child’s relationship with each parent and other significant people in their life
- The impact of the move on the child’s education, health, and social life
- The potential effect on the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent
If your child meets these criteria, your ex will need your permission or a court order to relocate with your child.
If your ex has already expressed a desire to relocate with your child, you may want to consider seeking legal representation to protect your rights. You may be able to negotiate a new custody agreement with your ex or seek a court order preventing the relocation. If your ex has already relocated with your child without your permission, you may need to seek legal assistance to enforce your custody or visitation rights.
The renowned family law attorneys at Davis Law Group can help you navigate the complex laws surrounding child relocation in Massachusetts. We can assist you in negotiating with your ex, filing a petition to prevent relocation, or advocating for your position in court. Our goal is to protect your rights as a parent and ensure the best possible outcome for you and your child. To know more, please get in touch with us.
What if the Parents Do Not Agree on the Relocation?
If you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on the relocation of your child, either parent can file a petition with the court asking for an order to block or allow the relocation.
Once the petition is filed, the judge will schedule a hearing and may require one or both parents to pay a bond, which will be returned after the final decision is made. The bond ensures that no one moves without a valid court order.
At the hearing, the judge will listen to testimonies from both parents and evaluate evidence about the potential impact of the relocation on the child. If you want to move away with your children and the other parent disagrees, it is essential to avoid moving without a court order.
Factors Considered by Massachusetts Courts When Deciding on Relocation with Children
When the judge is deciding whether to allow or deny the move, their primary consideration is the child’s long-term well-being. To that end, they will take into account the following factors when deciding whether the child’s best interests are being served:
Positive Impact of the Move: Would the move positively affect the child’s life, such as better education or living conditions?
Selfish Motives: Is the moving parent the only one who benefits from the relocation? Is the motive for the relocation genuine?
Alteration of Visitation Schedule: Would the relocation alter or negatively affect the visitation schedule? Is it possible to develop a new visitation order so the non-moving parent can maintain a strong, close bond with the child?
Relationship with the Non-Moving Parent: How does one parent moving away with the child impact the relationship between the child and the non-moving parent?
Emotional, Psychological, and Physical Health: How does the relocation of the child affect their emotional, psychological, and physical health and needs?
New Custody and Visitation Order: Is it possible to create a new custody and visitation order to allow the non-moving parent to maintain a close and strong bond with the child after they move away?
Protect Your Parental Rights and Get the Results You Deserve
We understand that dealing with a child relocation case can be incredibly emotional and stressful. The leading Massachusetts family law attorney Jay Davis and his experienced legal team at Davis Law Group are here to help you navigate this difficult process, protect your parental rights, and ensure the best possible outcome for you and your child.
With Jay on your side, you can trust that your case will be handled with the utmost care and attention to detail. He has a deep understanding of Massachusetts family law and has helped numerous parents successfully navigate child relocation cases. He will work tirelessly to advocate for your rights and the best interests of your child. Call us today at 617-221-3548 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards securing your family’s future.
James H. (Jay) Davis III
Thank you for reading. Need to talk? 617-221-3548