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When can I move with my child without asking anyone for permission?

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

You do not need permission from anyone if you want to move out of state with your child if:

  • You are your child’s only legal parent.


  • You were never married to your child’s other parent, and
    • There is no custody order, and
    • The other parent is not named on the birth certificate or the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage.


  • You are married to your child’s other parent and a court has not issued a custody order. With no custody order, you and your spouse both have the right to move your child out of the state.


It still may be best to get permission from the other parent.  Without permission, the other parent may later ask you to bring your child back to Massachusetts or may start a court case against you.

See How do I get permission from my child's other parent?

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