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Legal Information: Massachusetts

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of December 14, 2023

I was granted temporary custody with my abuse prevention order. Can I take my kids out of the state?

Whether you can leave the state may depend on the exact wording of the custody provision in your abuse prevention order. You may have to first seek the permission of the court before leaving. If the abuser was granted visitation rights with your children, then you have to have the order changed, or show the court that there is a fair and realistic alternative to the current visitation schedule.

If you are unsure about whether or not you can take your kids out of the state, it is important to talk to a lawyer who understands domestic violence and custody laws and can help you make the safest decision for you and your children. You can find contact information for legal assistance in Massachusetts on our MA Finding a Lawyer page.

I was granted temporary custody with my abuse prevention order. Will another state enforce this custody order?

Custody, visitation, and child support provisions that are included in an abuse prevention order can be enforced across state lines. Law enforcement and courts in another state are required by federal law to enforce these provisions.1

1 18 USC § 2266