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Relocation

If a custodial parent wishes to move outside of New York State (or even certain distances within the state), her or she can do so by either having the consent of the other parent in the form of a properly drafted and signed agreement or obtaining a Court order permitting the relocation over the objection of the other parent.

To obtain a Court order allowing the relocation, the custodial parent must make a written request to the Court for permission to change the residence of the child.  The other parent is given an opportunity to respond to the request, and if the parties cannot come to an agreement the Court will hold a hearing and decide whether or not to approve the relocation.

If you want to negotiate and draft an agreement concerning the relocation of your child, make a request to the Court for permission to relocate, or to oppose such a request, please contact us. 

We can counsel you in negotiating and drafting an agreement concerning child relocation, and advise you as to the legal and practical considerations involved in handling a relocation issue.  In addition, we can draft and submit to the Court an appropriate request to relocate or an objection to such a relocation. Finally, we can represent you in Court and conduct a hearing on any request to relocate or objection to relocation.

To discuss your questions or concerns about child relocation, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.

If you would like more information about the law and procedures for child relocation matters, please continue reading. 

How Does a Court Decide Whether to Allow a Parent to Relocate with a Child?

In making its decision, the Court’s sole and only concern is whether the move will be in the child’s best interests. 

To determine whether a move is in the child’s best interests, each relocation request must be evaluated based on the unique facts and circumstances of your case. While the rights of the parents must be taken into account, the rights and needs of the children are the Court’s most important consideration.

What Factors are Important to the Court in Deciding Whether to Permit Relocation?

While all facts and circumstances concerning the move will be considered by the Court, there are certain issues which the Court will generally wish to address in determining whether or not to permit a relocation. They are:

1.         Each parent's reasons for seeking or opposing the move.

2.         The nature, depth, and quality of the relationships between the child and the custodial and noncustodial parents.

3.         The impact of the move on the quantity and quality of the child's future contact with the noncustodial parent.

4.         The degree to which the custodial parent's and child's life may be enhanced economically, emotionally and educationally by the move.

5.         The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the noncustodial parent and child through suitable visitation arrangements.

What Happens if the Court Permits the Relocation?

If the Court allows the custodial parent to relocate with the child, it will almost certainly modify any existing visitation order to reflect the change in the relationship between the child and the noncustodial parent. While the Court will encourage the parents to try and agree to a new visitation schedule, it will set its own schedule in the event the parents cannot do so.

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