A divorce is never easy, but the issues can be more complicated if you have children. It is much easier if you and your ex have not started a family together. If you have children, there could be difficult custody issues.

One important issue is if your ex tries to move out of state with your children. These moves can cause serious disagreements. These disagreements often end up in court. If it reaches the court, the facts of your case will influence the court’s decision.

The court will consider:

  • Child’s age and opinion. Your approval is required if your child is too young to make the decision. A child who is old enough can share their choice with the court.
  • Custody agreement. Does the move violate your divorce settlement?
  • Was your child born in Massachusetts, or have they lived here at least five years?

The best interest of your child is the most important factor

Regardless of all the other factors, the most critical issue will be what is in the best interest of your child.

How is “the best interest” of your child determined?

The reason for the move will influence the court’s decision:

  • Is your ex moving to improve their job and the child’s quality of life?
  • Are they making the move to improve your child’s educational opportunities?
  • Will the move get children closer to extended family?
  • Will the children be closer to needed medical care?
  • How will the move affect your visitation?

An attorney can defend your parental rights

You have a right to be a part of your children’s lives. A move out of state could affect that right. A family law attorney can defend your right to keep your children from moving.