By:  Amanda J. Shuman, Esq.

We often hear from clients that they moved to Massachusetts because of their spouse and they don’t have any reason to stay here after they get divorced.  This gets more complicated if they have children with their ex, however.

Massachusetts law provides that nether parent may “permanently remove” their children from the Commonwealth without the other parent’s consent or a court order, and this is true whether the child’s parents were previously married or not.  So, if your child’s other parent won’t agree, how do you get permission to move away from Massachusetts?

  • You are always free to move out of state – but your kids are not! A parent is always free to move to another state, but if they do, without an agreement between the parents to change the parenting plan, the issue of whether or not the moving parent is permitted to take the children must be decided by the court.
  • What effect your move has on your child’s relationship with the other parent is a very important factor. Although technology makes it easier for children to have ongoing contact with both parents regardless of with whom they’re spending time, there is nothing that replaces in-person contact.  So, if you and your co-parent both see your child for a few days each week, moving away will have a negative impact on your co-parent’s relationship with your child.
  • You will have to re-negotiate your parenting plan if your co-parent agrees with the move. In addition to determining how much time during the summer and school vacations each parent will have, other things to think about are:  Is a weekend visit every few weeks possible?  How will your child travel between homes – is plane travel required?  Will your child be permitted to fly alone?  Who will pay the cost of your child’s travel?  Will you adjust child support to account for the additional travel costs?

At DangerLaw, LLC our attorneys are well-versed in the complexities involved with moving out of Massachusetts with your children whether we’re negotiating a new parenting plan with your co-parent who agrees to the move or if we’re litigating the issue before the court.  Please contact us and let us know how we can help.