Selected Massachusetts Cases on Relocation With Your Child

by | Mar 4, 2022 | Children |

Here are important cases on the issue of relocating with your Massachusetts child.

D.C. v. J.S., 58 Mass. App. Ct. 351 (2003)
“Applications for court decision in cases in which a parent seeks to relocate within the Commonwealth should not be routine but are proper only where the relocation would evidently involve significant disruption of the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights and the parents cannot agree.” When necessary, criteria for “relocation to a distant part of the State will resemble those applied to removal beyond the State boundaries.”

Mason v. Coleman, 447 Mass. 177 (2006)
In order for a parent who shares joint physical custody to move out of state, s/he must meet a higher standard than a parent who has sole physical custody. “The importance to the children of one parent’s advantage in relocating outside the Commonwealth is greatly reduced.” Applying the “best interests of the child” test, the court determined that the mother would not be permitted to move out of state.

Miller v. Miller, 478 Mass. 642 (2018)
When there is no prior custody order to determine whether the Mason or Yannas analysis should apply, “we hold that the judge must first perform a functional analysis, which may require a factual inquiry, regarding the parties’ respective parenting responsibilities to determine whether it more closely approximates sole or shared custody, and then apply the corresponding standard.”

Rosenthal v. Maney, 51 Mass. App. Ct. 257 (2001)
Because “Efforts by a custodial parent to relocate a child out of the Commonwealth often give rise to a claim for custody by the parent not seeking the move,” case outlines the different standards required by a request for modification of custody and a request to relocate, and details the necessary considerations in a request to relocate.

Smith v. McDonald, 458 Mass. 540 (2010). Unmarried mother. 
“Permission to relocate… is not required when a child has only one legal parent. Such is the case for a non-marital child prior to any proceedings to determine paternity or allocate custodial rights. When the paternity of a non-marital child has not yet been established pursuant to G.L. c. 209C, § 2, the mother is the child’s only parent. The putative biological father has no legal rights that need to be protected by the court, and the mother may relocate freely with the child.”

Yannas v. Frondistou-Yannas, 395 Mass. 704 (1985)
In detail, outlines how the best interests of the child are to be determined in deciding a case in which one parent who has sole physical custody wants to move out of state.

Should you be seeking to relocate with your Massachusetts child, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.

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