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Child Removal

Petitioning for and Opposing Child Removal in Massachusetts

Guidance from Taunton, Plymouth, and Bridgewater divorce lawyers

When parents have separated, and one parent wants to leave Massachusetts, this can lead to complicated legal battles. Relocation may provide an ideal advantage for both the parent who wants to relocate and the children, but it can leave the noncustodial parent with limited opportunities for visitation. Child relocation almost always requires a modification of the existing parenting plan and permission from the court.

The Taunton lawyers at Studley Law Offices have 38 years of combined experience and the determination and the resources necessary effectively to serve you. Because of his skills and commitment to children’s interests, our dedicated Bridgewater lawyer John E. Studley has been appointed by Plymouth judges to serve as guardian ad litem in numerous contentious child custody cases. Our firm has successfully handled several complex cases related to child removal — including the noteworthy appellate case of Pizzino v. Miller. Whether you are seeking or opposing child relocation, we can help you obtain the best results for your family.

Presumption of proof in Massachusetts relocation cases

The relocating parent has the initial burden of proving that there is a real advantage and good reason for moving. Once the parent meets this evidentiary hurdle, the courts consider the best interest of the children, including such factors as:

  • Whether the move will improve the child’s quality of life
  • The effects of the move on the child’s relationship with the other parent
  • How the move will affect the child’s emotional, physical and developmental needs

Proving children’s best interest

In Massachusetts, the “best interests of the child” governs the court’s decision to grant or deny the right to remove a child from the state. Deciding if relocation is in the child’s best interest generally requires a complicated analysis involving several factors.

Notably, if the custodial parent’s interests are enhanced, there is a presumption that the child’s interests will also be enhanced. However, if there is evidence that one parent is planning to relocate to deprive the other parent of fair visitation; this may weigh against the relocation. Our lawyers in Taunton present convincing evidence that represents your position effectively — whether you are in favor of or in opposition to the relocation — and that demonstrates how the move will affect you and your child.

Learn more about child relocation in Massachusetts from knowledgeable Middleborough attorneys

Contact our experienced lawyers about your child relocation case in Middleborough, Lake Ville, Taunton, Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, Raynham or Plymouth. Call the Studley Law Offices at 508-923-7207 or 800-640-2889 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

  • "John Studley helped me thru a very difficult time in my life. He explained everything to me and made me feel independent in my decisions. He got me more than I expected. Thanks to You and your team." - Diane - December 9, 2016

  • "I completely agree with a prior reviewer...a complete class act! He is highly efficient, extremely knowledgeable, personable, totally professional, highly successful and very entertaining. I have dealt with Atty. Studley on a few matters over the course of 12 years and he (and his staff!) have consistently provided the time and means to successfully litigate my cases/issues. I was fortunate enough that he was referred to me and I have had absolutely no regrets. If you're looking for the best, he's the person to hire." - L - December 1, 2016

  • "Posted by Michelle September 16, 2015 John Studley is a true class act. I have been a client of his since 2008. He puts the needs of the child first and foremost. He is direct and honest with his clients in a compassionate manner. I would highly recommend Studley Law Offices. I have great faith in John, Sandy and the rest of the team and I remain truly greatful for all of their hard work." - Michelle - September 16, 2015

  • "Attorney Studley and his staff are exceptional! They all are very professional, courteous, efficient and empathetic for our case. Attorney Studley knew the "ins and outs" of the laws and was able to implement them in our case. He was always available to us in a timely manner. He explained various situations and avenues we needed to explore. He provided us with the information we needed to move forward in our case. Attorney Studley was always prepared for any situation in court. He even had copies of documents that the judge did not have available to him during court proceedings. We have already recommended him to a fellow grandparent and would do so again." - Bev - August 31, 2015

  • "John Studley is very professional. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs a lawyer. He kept me informed by promptly responding to my emails and phone calls." - Roger - January 31, 2015

  • "John and his staff were very professional from the beginning. He is very persistent and thorough. My case took over a year to settle but his staff had to do a lot of research. They constantly kept me in the loop as to how the case was progressing. I would not hesitate to use his services again." - Ron - August 21, 2014

  • "John helped my family in a difficult child custody case. His excellent work was instrumental in saving my granddaughters from ongoing physical and mental abuse." - Tom - August 12, 2014

  • "This was my first experience dealing with a lawyer. I found John Studley to be very professional in dealing with my case. He explained everything to me in detail and his knowledge of the law reassured me that my case was justified. I had complete trust in him as he was confident and I would highly recommend him to any person in need a lawyer. John dealt with my personal injury case. He set up appointments with Doctors, Neurologists and Physical therapists for me. He and his team were very responsive in returning my phone calls and communicated all correspondence in this matter. He showed a compassion for my health and well being during a difficult time in my life. He was instrumental in facilitating a fair settlement in my case." - Brian - February 21, 2014

  • "John Studley has been my attorney for over 20 years and has never disappointed me. He is, in my opinion the best lawyer you could have. Rest assured that if you have Attorney Studley for your lawyer he will definitelyl do the best that he can do for you. He definitely is a cut above the rest..." - Edna - February 11, 2014



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Through our attorneys' unwavering dedication, The Studley Law Offices has achieved successful results on behalf of many of our clients. Please read more about some of the verdicts and settlements of which we are most proud.
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