Mansfield Parent Relocation Attorneys
Compassion And Experience In Relocation Cases Across Bristol County
Child relocation or "move-away" cases are among the most challenging issues in divorces and separations of parents — especially in the case of very young children who are still in the process of bonding with both parents.
At the Ostendorf Law Group, PLLC, we represent parents on both sides of the relocation issue: Those wishing to move, and those wishing to stay close to their child.
Parental Relocation Attorneys Representing Parents Throughout Massachusetts
Child custody and visitation orders are negotiated or assigned based on a family's situation at a given moment in time. If you're engaged in a custody or visitation arrangement and wish to relocate with your children out of the Massachusetts Commonwealth or a significant distance away, you must:
- provide your ex with a court order validating the relocation, or
- reach an agreement with your ex about how the relocation will change your current custody or visitation arrangement.
Generally, you should try and negotiate with your ex to establish a relocation arrangement you both find acceptable. If you can't agree on a relocation agreement, you'll need to attend court and receive a court order validating your desired relocation arrangement to relocate successfully. Relocating without obtaining a court order or the explicit permission of your ex could have severe legal consequences.
In some cases, after a divorce or separation, custodial parents have compelling reasons to move with their children out of town or even out of state:
- Job reasons: Layoffs at home, promotions with moves attached, and new job offers elsewhere are all reasons a parent may choose to move during or shortly after a divorce. Frequently, parents who relocate for professional reasons want to bring their children with them—especially if they're engaged in a custody arrangement where they have primary custody of the children.
- Family reasons: Elderly parents may need help, or the parent may remarry someone who lives out of the area. Under such circumstances, it's not uncommon for a parent to request relocation for their children.
- Health reasons: The parent or a child may require specialized medical care or therapy that is available in a different area or a different climate.
- Special reasons: A child may excel at a sport, music, theater, or some other endeavor, and have the best opportunities in another area.
A family law court may or may not approve a parent's proposal for an adjustment to an existing arrangement. The child's best interest is always the deciding factor. Courts consider several factors when determining whether to grant a court order for a relocation:
- Does the child stand to benefit from the relocation? Importantly, will the child benefit from the relocation at least as much as the parent? Often, the court will assess whether or not a child stands to benefit economically from relocating. For example, if your child is an exemplary gymnast, relocating to an area with state-of-the-art gyms and coaches could have benefits for your child's future career. A parent who relocates for a better job may also be capable of providing their child with a higher quality of life than they previously maintained.
- What are the consequences of relocation? How will relocating affect the child? If you relocate, your child will need to adjust to a new area, make new friends, and attend a new school. The court takes these factors into account.
- Will relocating benefit the child's emotional, physical, or development needs? Will staying in place? In addition to economic wellbeing, courts will consider factors such as the emotional, physical, and developmental needs of your child. For example, if your child suffers from a neurological disorder, moving closer to a hospital that specializes in treating that disorder may have developmental and physical benefits for your child.
- What kind of new custody or visitation arrangement can be established to allow the parent who isn't relocating to maintain contact with their child? If you wish to relocate and your ex doesn't, the court will try and find a way to ensure your ex remains in consistent contact with your child. They may require regular video chats, for example, or try and facilitate an arrangement allowing your ex to visit your child regularly.
Less frequent visitation with the non-custodial parent can perhaps be balanced by more extended visitation periods at other times.
The family law attorneys of the Ostendorf Law Group, PLLC, have helped many parents resolve parental relocation requests through a variety of methods and approaches, including mediation and litigation.
Questions About Child Relocation? Our Bristol County Attorneys Have Answers.
Obtaining a parental relocation order can be nerve wracking. If you're uprooting your life to pursue better opportunities for yourself or your child, you don't need more stress. Similarly, if your ex is planning on relocating and you want to oppose their court order, we can help you understand relocation cases more thoroughly.
Bring your concerns about parental relocation to our family law attorneys. Whether you're the parent seeking to relocate with your child or the parent opposed to relocation, contact us online or give us a call at (508) 593-1408 for a free consultation from a Massachusetts parent relocation attorney about how best to resolve the dilemma of a child relocation proposal.
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