If you`re planning on moving out of Massachusetts with your child but don`t have a custody agreement in place, it`s important to understand the legal and practical considerations.
Legally, Massachusetts requires that parents who share custody of a child must obtain the other parent`s written consent or go to court to get permission to move the child out of state. This is known as the „relocation statute,” and the court will consider several factors when deciding whether to allow the move. These factors include:
– The reason for the move
– The child`s relationship with each parent
– The impact on the child`s education and social life
– The financial impact on each parent
If you don`t have a custody agreement in place, the court will also consider whether you have a „real advantage” in moving your child out of state. This means you must have a compelling reason for the move, such as a job opportunity or family support, that outweighs the potential harm to your child`s relationship with the other parent.
Practically, it`s important to understand that moving out of state without a custody agreement in place can create significant conflict with the other parent. Even if you have a valid reason for the move, the other parent may feel blindsided and resist the change, which can lead to a prolonged legal battle.
To avoid this, experts recommend working collaboratively with the other parent to reach a custody agreement that addresses the logistics of the move and ensures that both parents continue to have meaningful involvement in the child`s life. This agreement should be put in writing and approved by the court to ensure enforceability.
If you`re unable to reach an agreement with the other parent, you may need to seek legal assistance to petition the court for permission to move your child out of state. This can be a complex and emotional process, so it`s important to choose an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal system and protect your rights as a parent.
Overall, moving out of state with a child without a custody agreement in place is a challenging situation that requires careful consideration and legal guidance. By understanding the legal and practical issues involved, you can make informed decisions and minimize the potential impact on your child and family.