Divorced parents have to share the responsibilities of raising a child. Sharing custody can make it difficult to relocate. If you are divorced, Massachusetts law requires that you must get the other parent’s permission to remove your child from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This applies in cases where your child was born in or has resided in Massachusetts for five years and he or she cannot give legal consent. If the other parent will not agree with the relocation, you may have to get a judge’s permission. The main deciding factor will be whether or not the proposed relocation is in the best interests of the child. You must still keep the other parent’s rights and responsibilities as well as your child’s needs in mind if you are moving within Massachusetts. Moving further away from the other parent could mean they spend less time with your child, and this can be harmful. You may have to adjust the parenting plan to accommodate a new residence within the Commonwealth.
After a divorce, you may need to move for a better job or to be near a stronger support network. A move may benefit your child, but it may come at the cost of them maintaining a strong relationship with their other parent. Take the costs of transportation for parenting time, the toll travel can take on your child, the potential pitfalls of a relocation, and your child’s relationship with the parent into consideration when discussing this with the other parent. Fortunately, computers, tablets, and cell phones have opened up new ways for a parent to spend time with their child after a divorce. It is always important to keep in mind, however, that every child’s needs are different, and those needs must be considered when discussing relocation.
Relocating for a job or family is quite common today. Unfortunately, removing a child from his or her parent can have detrimental effects. Get the other parent’s permission before you relocate to protect your child’s best interests and to abide by Massachusetts law. You may want to consider working with an experienced divorce mediator to accomplish this. A skilled mediator can work with you and your spouse on negotiating the terms of the relocation and the changes in the parenting plan it will necessitate. With compromise, skillful negotiations, and keeping your child’s best interests in mind, it is possible to relocate without violating any of the other parent’s rights.
If you share custody and need to relocate, contact Mediation Advantage Services for expert family law help. Experienced in complex divorce mediation, Polly A. Tatum can help you and your spouse reach an agreement that is in the best interests of your child. Based in historic Worcester, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at 508-795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free guide for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.