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Can non-custodial parent in Massachusetts object to living arrangement with girlfriend?

The custodial parent who has physical custody only, is in the process of selling his home. He will walk away with a net gain of over $240,000. He is moving in with his girlfriend who he has described as affluent, and her 2 sons. My son is devastated that the his dad is selling his home, and he has been told he will have a bedroom at her house, and will reside with her 2 sons now as well. Is there any recourse on behalf of the child in this instance?

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Dear adviseplease: Your ex, who you say has "physical custody only" most likely shares joint legal custody of your son with you. It is not possible for a parent to have physical custody of a child without also having legal custody. There is no legal prohibition to your ex selling his house and moving in with his girlfriend and her two sons, unless it is an unsafe or unhealthy environment. Giving up a home is not easy for anyone and most likely will require some adjustments by your son before he becomes comfortable in his new living situation. While there is no "recourse on behalf on behalf of the child" that you can effectuate, you can ease your son's transition by being supportive. Let him know that change is a fact of life; the people who adapt to change and who make the best out of a situation tend to be happier people. It is best for the child for his parents to behave respectfully toward each other. Try your best to not be negative about this change. If you really think that the change will be harmful to him and you sincerely believe that you can offer him a better living situation, you could seek to modify the court order re custody to give you physical custody. Otherwise, accept the change and do not burden your son with negativity.



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