This is the next post in our series on the rights of unwed parents in Boston, Massachusetts. Our last article discussed what to expect during child custody litigation. It is important that the parties understand the process which they are facing. This helps them to have realistic expectations about their situation and it also assists with ensuring that the process goes smoothly. If you have questions about your situation then it is important that you speak with an attorney immediately. In this article, we will address a commonly raised issue – whether or not unmarried parents may move their child out of state. If you require assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Unmarried Boston parents will typically require Court approval to remove their child from Massachusetts
Permanently relocating a child away from Massachusetts is referred to as the “removal” of that youth. As long as paternity of the child has been established, then Courts will typically require that an unmarried parent obtain a Court Order, or permission of their counterpart, before removing a child from the state. The Court will grant an order for removal if “good cause” for the move is shown by the relocating parent. When considering whether good cause has been shown, the Court will consider factors such as:
- Whether the move is in the best interests of the child
- Whether the move can be expected to improve the child’s quality of life
- Whether the moving parent can be expected to comply with visitation orders
- The extent to which long-distance visitation is feasible.
- The parent’s motive for the move and any necessity to relocate.
In deciding whether or not to grant the relocation, the Court will be concerned with the level of specifics the requesting parent is able to provide. The higher the level of specifics, then the more seriously the Court will take the request.
Unmarried Boston parents face potential problems if they remove a child from the state without first gaining Court approval. If they do so, then the other parent may file a child custody action and make a request that the child immediately be returned to Massachusetts. This means that the other parent may have relocated only to immediately be required to return. By following the appropriate steps, this problem can be avoided.
Boston parents should immediately go to Court if their child has been removed from the state without permission
If your child has been removed from the state without permission then it is important that you go to Court as soon as possible. Under Massachusetts Law and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), the state in which the child has resided for the last six months will have jurisdiction over the matter. This means that if you have no current Court Order, and your child is taken to another state for six months or more, then the other state may be where the case is heard. By taking immediate action, you help to ensure that your rights remain protected.
If you need assistance in a child relocation case then contact our office today to speak with a Boston child custody lawyer. We pride ourselves on providing quality service and we are ready to assist you. Our attorneys also assist Massachusetts residents in the Middlesex County cities of Cambridge, Lowell, Somerville, and Newton, as well as those in the cities of Worcester, Brockton, Quincy, and Lynn.