If you live in Massachusetts, state law may prohibit the other parent from moving away with your children after divorce. For this type of move to take place, both parents must consent.

Explore the Massachusetts regulations about relocation with minor children by the custodial parent.

Understanding child consent

When the child can express his or her wishes to the move to the judge, the court can legally allow the other parent and the child to move out of state. To move with a younger child, the parent who wants to relocate must have the consent of the other parent.

Obtaining parental consent

If you agree to the other parent’s request, he or she must document this agreement in writing before a notary public. Do not sign this type of agreement if you do not consent to the move. If the move requires changes to an existing schedule of parenting time, the agreement should also include full details about these changes. The relocating parent must file the signed, notarized agreement with the court before the move.

Requiring legal consent

If you do not agree to the move, the other parent can ask the court’s permission to relocate out of state. Often, he or she must also ask for a custody modification if you currently share physical custody. Both parents can present evidence to show whether the move serves the child’s best interest. The judge may consider:

  • The impact of the move on the relationship with the nonmoving parent and other family members
  • If and how the move will improve the child’s quality of life
  • The child’s existing connections with home, school and community

When your child’s other parent asks the court for permission to relocate, he or she must also provide you with official legal notice of this request. You will have a certain amount of time, usually 30 days, to file an official objection to the move, after which the court will schedule a hearing to determine the best course of action.