Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law

Child custody and relocation after divorce can be complicated

Massachusetts parents who are separated or divorced and want to relocate may want to prepare themselves for a complicated process. When a parent with child custody wants to move to another city or state, there will be legal procedures that may even include a court appearance. The parent will have to provide motivation for the desire to relocate, and it may help to have some idea of what information must be gathered.

The court will look at the reason for relocation, and, if it involves better employment that will benefit the lifestyle of the child, it may help the case. However, definite plans must be provided for changes to parenting or visitation agreements to accommodate the new location without depriving the child or the other parent. With the child's best interests being the primary concern, information related to the schooling and extra-curricular activities being at the same or higher level must be provided.

Information related to the new community, such as the proximity to doctors' offices and recreational areas compared to current conditions, may be helpful. Also, will activities that the family is involved in currently be available at the new location, and what childcare support will there be? The child's safety will also be examined, so information about the crime rate and climate in the new community may be helpful.

The relocating parent will have to show the family court that the child will live in similar or better circumstances and that the move will not jeopardize the child's relationship with the other parent. The support and guidance of an experienced Massachusetts family law attorney may be invaluable. A lawyer who is seasoned in matters related to child custody and relocation can help the parent to prepare for the court proceedings and also advocate on behalf of the client.

Source: divorcedmoms.com, "5 Tips For Parents Who Want To Relocate After Divorce", Missy Boyd,, Accessed on Aug. 27, 2016

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