Can Massachusetts Hear a Custody Case About a Child Who Does Not Live in Massachusetts?

Yes, Massachusetts can initiate or modify custody orders for children out of state if:

  • Massachusetts was the home state of the child in the past six months, but now the child no longer lives in Massachusetts because one parent removed the child while the other parent remains in Massachusetts.
  • No other state would have jurisdiction as the home state, and the child and parents have a significant connection to Massachusetts, and there is substantial evidence about the child’s care in Massachusetts.
  • Another state has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that Massachusetts is the more appropriate forum and it is in the best interests of the child that Massachusetts assumes jurisdiction.

[M.G.L. Chapter 209B Sec. 2]

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