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Review of Massachusetts’ relocation law

There are many reasons why a single parent in the Springfield area may have to move either to another part of Massachusetts or even outside the state. Given that Massachusetts is relatively small in terms of land size and is close to a lot of other big cities in other states, it is, for instance, relatively easy to see how someone can find a new and better job opportunity that, while still geographically close to Springfield, is technically out-of-state.

The relocation of a child by one parent and following a divorce is nonetheless a relatively complicated legal affair in Massachusetts. Generally speaking, a divorced parent, even if he or she has custody, cannot legally just up and leave Massachusetts with the child, at least not if the child was born in this state or has lived in Massachusetts for five years.

There are naturally ways to get around this rule. For instance, if both parents agree to the move, then the court will likely allow it. Moreover, there is also a provision in the law that allows the child to give consent if the child is of “suitable age” to do so. Finally, a court can allow the move for a good cause, which, for instance, may well include a better employment opportunity.

The law about relocation is rather broadly worded, which means that there are a lot of details, nuances and the like which will depend a lot on the specific facts of a case when it comes to deciding individual relocation issues. For this reason, specific questions about whether relocation would be allowed should be referred to an experienced family law attorney.