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When do I need to get permission from the other parent or the court?

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

You need to get permission from the other parent or the court if:

  • Your child was born in Massachusetts, or
  • Your child has lived in Massachusetts for 5 years or more.

And

  • You divorced the other parent. Or,
  • You and the other parent are not married but
    • have a custody or paternity case.
    • the other parent signed the birth certificate, or
    • the other parent signed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage. Or,
  • Your move will change your parenting time schedule.

If your child has lived in Massachusetts for less than 5 years, your child’s other parent can give you permission to leave with your child. But if they do not, talk to a lawyer. There may be risks to filing something in court if your child has lived in Massachusetts for less than 5 years.

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