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Extensive Experience In Child Relocation Matters

If you are considering relocating with your child or children, or if you would like to contest your spouse’s or ex-partner’s proposed child custody modification plans to relocate with your child or children, Porcello Law Offices can assist you.

Massachusetts Child Relocation Law

The law in Massachusetts that addresses the issue of relocation, or one parent moving out of the state with his or her child, is M.G.L. c. 208, section 30. This law states the following:

“A minor child of divorced parents who is a native of or has resided five years within this commonwealth and over whose custody and maintenance a probate court has jurisdiction shall not, if of suitable age to signify his consent, be removed out of this commonwealth without such consent, or, if under that age, without the consent of both parents, unless the court upon cause shown otherwise orders.”

Determining Whether a Child Can be Removed from Massachusetts

The leading case on the issue of removal in Massachusetts is Yannas v. Frondistou-Yannas, 395 Mass. 704 (1985). In Yannas, the court developed the standard for determining whether a child can be removed from the commonwealth. This standard is referred to as the “real advantage” standard.

The real advantage standard takes into account the effect the move will have on the child, the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent. Determining whether a custodial parent meets this standard is done on a case-by-case basis and is highly reliant on the specific facts of your individual case.

Although the language of M.G.L. c. 208, section 30 reads as though it only applies to parents who have gotten a divorce or who are in the process of a divorce, the law also applies to unmarried parents who have had a child out of wedlock.

Child Relocation and Temporary Orders

Lastly, if you are married and have not yet filed for divorce or established a custody order, you should be aware of the fact that both you and your spouse have equal custody of your child. As a result, the removal law does not apply, and both of you have the right to take your child out of the state without the other’s consent. Given this fact, it is important that parties who have separated and have minor children, get Temporary Orders in place immediately regarding custody.

Contact our attorneys to learn more about the relocation of a child under Massachusetts law.

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