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What can I do if I want to move with my child right away?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute & Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts, LLC
Reviewed June 2023

Ask the other parent for permission to move.

If they say no,

File a “Motion to Request Advance or Immediate Permission to Remove the Minor Child from the Commonwealth.”

This lets you ask the judge for an order saying you can move now, temporarily, while you wait for your final hearing or trial date. The judge will not decide if you can permanently move out of state until:

  • your final hearing, or
  • the other parent agrees to let your child move.

You can only file this motion if you:

You must also file an affidavit with your motion.

An affidavit is a written letter signed by a person who swears the statements in the letter are true.

 If true, some good reasons for moving right away you can put into your affidavit are:

  • The new school year is about to begin.
  • You have a job in the new state that cannot wait.
  • Your extended family has relocated. Or,
  • Moving outside of MA will give you or your child an excellent opportunity that you cannot have if you stay in MA.

How do I show the Judge I want to move?

Attach your affidavit to your motion. You can also include affidavits from other people who think you should move.

  • Affidavits from family, friends, clergy, or social service providers that tell the court they will help support you and your child in the new state.
  • Affidavits from your child’s therapist, counselor, or social worker saying the move will be good for your child or that your child is excited about the possibility of moving. And,
  • Affidavits from your therapist, counselor, or social worker saying the move will be good for you.

Ask for a Guardian Ad Litem if you think they may help your case.

After you create your motion and affidavits, you must hire a sheriff or deputy constable to give the other parent a copy and give the original to the court. See Serving the Defendant in Family and Probate Court. The other parent can tell the judge if they do not want your child to leave the state, or why they want your child to stay.

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