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Relocating with a child

Under certain circumstances, it may become necessary for a Massachusetts custodial parent to relocate with his or her child. However, this may create logistical problems if the other parent has the right to visit or has partial custody of the child. Typically, it is the responsibility of the relocating parent to come up with a visitation schedule that is agreeable to the other parent and in the best interests of the child.

If the noncustodial parent objects to the move, a judge may have to approve the relocation before it can occur. Generally, a court will allow a move if it is in good faith. For instance, if the child's parent is moving to take a new job or be closer to family, that is generally considered to be in the best interests of the child.

A court may also consider where the parent is taking the child. If the child remains in the same state, the court may allow the relocation to take place as long as the other parent is still reasonably close to the child. Regardless of why the custodial parent wishes to move, the other parent generally has a limited amount of time to object to the move, usually 30 to 90 days.

When there is a child custody dispute, it may be beneficial to talk to a family law attorney. An attorney may be able to take steps to resolve any custody issues without having to go court. If a judge has to make a ruling, it will be binding, and neither parent may get the solution they were looking for. However, if necessary, an attorney may be able to represent a parent in court in an attempt to do what is in the best interests of the child.

Source: Findlaw, "Child Custody Relocation Laws", December 03, 2014

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