Interstate Custody Issues Are Complex

Our Knowledgeable Family Law Attorneys Will Protect Your Rights

If a parent of a minor child wishes to either relocate to Massachusetts or move out of Massachusetts following divorce or the end of a nonmarital relationship, it can result in a dispute regarding custody and parenting time.

The experienced family law attorneys at Manzi, Seccareccio & Merwin, P.C., help parents resolve interstate custody disputes. If you are a custodial parent who wants to relocate out of the state with their child, or if you are a noncustodial parent who wants to prevent their child's other parent from moving away, we will work to achieve that objective.

We serve clients throughout Massachusetts, including residents of Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tewksbury, Westford, Concord and Carlisle, as well as in southern New Hampshire, from our offices in Lowell and Woburn. Call 978-703-8517.

Factors In Resolving Interstate Custody Issues

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) determines which state is designated the "home state," and thus, has jurisdiction in child custody disputes. In most cases, the state in which the child lived immediately preceding the commencement of the custody proceeding will have jurisdiction. Any custodial issues must be addressed in that state. There are exceptions, which is why it is important to consult with our experienced family law attorneys early in the process. We will review the facts of your case and provide a candid assessment of what you can expect.

Often, a custodial parent wishes to move to a different state following divorce in order to be closer to family, start a new job or because of a new relationship. A custodial parent who wishes to move to another state must petition the court for approval and notify the child's other parent. If both parents cannot agree to a move, the court will consider a number of factors to determine whether a move can occur. These include:

  • The level of involvement of the noncustodial parent with the child prior to the relocation request
  • Proximity to the noncustodial parent, and how the move will affect the ability of the noncustodial parent to spend time with the child
  • Whether the relocation provides the child distinct advantages, such as improved education opportunities, increased household income and the benefits of being closer to the extended family

Prompt Action Is Important

Whether you wish to move to another state with a child or prevent your child's other parent from moving, it is important to act promptly. Call or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, who will review the facts of your case and recommend a course of action.

We represent clients in Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tewksbury, Westford, Concord, Carlisle, Bedford and Nashua, N.H., from our offices in Woburn and Lowell.