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Removing a child from Massachusetts

Under Massachusetts law, specifically according to MGL Chapter 208 Section 30, a minor child of divorced parents who was either born in the Commonwealth or who has resided within the Commonwealth for at least five years, cannot be permantly removed by one parent without the consent of the other unless the parent seeking to remove the child can give appropraite cause for court order. 

If the non-moving parent objects to the removal of the child from the Commonwealth, the moving parent must file a Complaint for Removal with the court. 

The moving parent will only be succesful in their action to move out-of-state if it is in the best interests of the child. More specifically, the court follows a two-step process. First, the court determines what the real-advantage is to the child and custodial parent by moving, i.e. if there is a good and sincere reason for moving. Second, the court determins what is the best interest of the child by reviewing several factors. Some of these factors include whether the quality of the child's life will be improved, including any improvement that may flow from an improvement in the quality of the custodial parent's life;  or any possible adverse effects of decreasing the child's association with the non-custodial parent. No one factor is weighed more heavily than the others.

Additionally, the child removal statute in Massachusetts does not apply to just divorced parents but also applies to parents of a child that were never married. 

If you would like to move out of state but are not sure how to proceed, consider contacting an attorney familiar with the child removal statute for assistance soon. For more information on our firm approaches that topic, please visit our page. 

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