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Parental Relocation

Parental Relocation

Experienced family law and divorce lawyer serving Essex County and Middlesex County, Massachusetts including Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, North Reading, Tewksbury, and more.

Often times conflict arises when the custodial parent attempts to move out of state with the child. One of the strongest considerations regarding the non-custodial parent is whether the motive for removal is to deprive the non-custodial parent of reasonable visitation. Nonetheless, the fact that the non-custodial parent’s visitation may be affected is not the sole determinant in a removal matter.

The consideration of the advantage to the custodial parent and the consideration of the best interests of the child overlap. Will the quality of the child’s life be improved by the change (including any improvement flowing from improvement in the quality of the custodial parent’s life)? Is there a possible adverse effect of the elimination or curtailment of the child’s association with the non-custodial parent? Will moving or not moving affect the emotional, physical, or developmental needs of the child?

Removal can be defined as changing a child’s residence from one state to another, or even within a state. Generally, a custodial parent may not permanently remove the child from one state to another without consent of the other parent or approval of the court having jurisdiction over the matter.

Frequently, when a court must decide whether to permit children to move out of state, the standard is the ” real advantage ” test. The advantage may be economic or support of family residing in another jurisdiction or it may be any other good, sincere reason for wanting to remove.

Above all else, the removal must be in the best interests of the child. If it is found that there is a genuine, recognizable advantage to the custodial parent from the move, the question then is whether the move is consistent with the children’s best interests.

We have helped our clients with parental relocation issues on both sides of the coin. Call us today with any questions or to schedule a free consultation.