Interstate Child Custody and Relocation

Barring an agreement to the contrary, the parties to a parenting agreement or a Custody Visitation and Support Order, are free to relocate anywhere within the State of Massachusetts. However, in order for the Custodial Parent to move outside of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, even to New Hampshire or Rhode Island, it is required that they first obtain either permission from the other parent or an Order from the Court after a best interests determination.

In determining what is in the Childs’ “best interests” the court considers a variety of factors, including child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent, the advantages to both the child and the custodial parent that would accrue from relocating out of state, the child’s connections to both states as well as a long list of other factors.

Such cases tend to be amongst the most litigious and costly encountered in the context of custody and visitation matters and it is therefore important for either the custodial parent considering a move out of state or a non-custodial parent fighting a proposed relocation to consult an attorney before a move is planned.