Child custody is often a contentious topic. It is one of the most difficult parts of a divorce, and if parents are never married, then it is also a difficult situation. Things can get more complicated if you or the other parent wishes to move out of the state of Massachusetts.
There are specific laws, according to The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that define what can happen with custody and moving out of state. Here are two things that you should know about this situation that may be helpful.
- Both parents must agree in most cases
It is ideal for any moving situation that both parents are in agreement on the move. The court much prefers that you handle this situation so a judge does not have to step in. However, if you are not in agreement about the move, then the court may make orders regarding the situation. The court could grant the parent permission to leave the state or it could deny permission. It depends on various factors. Above all, keep in mind that the judge will always make decisions that are based on what he or she believes is in the best interest of the child, and it is not likely to matter whether you agree.
- Child has a say in some situations
It is also important to recognize that if your child is of an age the court believes is old enough and your child has been a resident of the state for at least five years, then he or she must provide consent for the move. Basically, if your child does not want to move, the court may allow him or her to stop it from happening. If the child is not old enough by the standards set by the court or has not been a resident of the state for at least five years, then the court will not require his or her consent.
Moving out of state with your child is not an easy process. You cannot just pick up and leave. You have to consider how it will affect both your child and the other parent.