What are my rights in regards to my ex-wife moving my daughters out-of-state without my permission?

UPDATED: Jun 26, 2015

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What are my rights in regards to my ex-wife moving my daughters out-of-state without my permission?

My ex-wife is planning on moving out of state to live with her new husband. I’ve been divorced for 4 years and my kids are 6 1/2.

Asked on June 26, 2015 under Family Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A custodial parent who wants to move their child(ren) out-of-state must obtain court permission. If they move the minor child(ren) without permission, the court may issue a contempt order, which can include fines and jail time.

Each state has its own factors that courts must consider in move-away disputes, but basically they must weigh the benefits of the move against the disruption to the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights. The factors considered are such things as: a new job opportunity, closer proximity to the custodial parent’s extended family who can help with childcare and support, an educational opportunity or, as in your case, relocaton due to a new marriage. The court then weighs these potential benefits against the possible adverse effect on the child(ren) from reduced contact with the non-custodial parent. 

Note: In some states, there is a presumption that a custodial parent has a right to relocate with their minor child(ren), thereby placing a burden on the objecting non-custodial parent to overcome the presumption. 

At this point, you should consult directly with a family law attorney in your area. They can best advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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