Petitioning for and Opposing Child Removal in Massachusetts
Guidance from Taunton, Plymouth, and Bridgewater divorce lawyers
When parents have separated, and one parent wants to leave Massachusetts, this can lead to complicated legal battles. Relocation may provide an ideal advantage for both the parent who wants to relocate and the children, but it can leave the noncustodial parent with limited opportunities for visitation. Child relocation almost always requires a modification of the existing parenting plan and permission from the court.
The Taunton lawyers at Studley Law Offices have 38 years of combined experience and the determination and the resources necessary effectively to serve you. Because of his skills and commitment to children’s interests, our dedicated Bridgewater lawyer John E. Studley has been appointed by Plymouth judges to serve as guardian ad litem in numerous contentious child custody cases. Our firm has successfully handled several complex cases related to child removal — including the noteworthy appellate case of Pizzino v. Miller. Whether you are seeking or opposing child relocation, we can help you obtain the best results for your family.
Presumption of proof in Massachusetts relocation cases
The relocating parent has the initial burden of proving that there is a real advantage and good reason for moving. Once the parent meets this evidentiary hurdle, the courts consider the best interest of the children, including such factors as:
- Whether the move will improve the child’s quality of life
- The effects of the move on the child’s relationship with the other parent
- How the move will affect the child’s emotional, physical and developmental needs
Proving children’s best interest
In Massachusetts, the “best interests of the child” governs the court’s decision to grant or deny the right to remove a child from the state. Deciding if relocation is in the child’s best interest generally requires a complicated analysis involving several factors.
Notably, if the custodial parent’s interests are enhanced, there is a presumption that the child’s interests will also be enhanced. However, if there is evidence that one parent is planning to relocate to deprive the other parent of fair visitation; this may weigh against the relocation. Our lawyers in Taunton present convincing evidence that represents your position effectively — whether you are in favor of or in opposition to the relocation — and that demonstrates how the move will affect you and your child.
Learn more about child relocation in Massachusetts from knowledgeable Middleborough attorneys
Contact our experienced lawyers about your child relocation case in Middleborough, Lake Ville, Taunton, Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, Raynham or Plymouth. Call the Studley Law Offices at 508-923-7207or 800-640-2889 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.