New York Child Relocation Lawyer

While in some cases child custody issues are quite acrimonious in other cases the parents have a positive co-parenting relationship. However, even when a child’s parents are on the best of terms, when the custodial parents seeks to move away with the child, a good co-parenting situation can quickly deteriorate. Moving a child will undoubtedly disrupt the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent, and will also affect the child’s academics and community involvement. In deciding whether or not to grant a parent’s petition to relocate the court will consider a number of factors and decide what is in the best interests of the child. If you are in need of a family lawyer because you are facing a child relocation issue, it is important that you contact an experienced New York Child Relocation Lawyer who will help you settle the relocation issue in the best possible way given the circumstance of your case, and who will also help you address any other outstanding issues related to child custody or child support.

Court approval to relocate a child

The parent with the physical custody of the child is typically the parent who would like to relocate with the child. While there are many reasons that a parent might want to move, common reasons include to accept a job, to go to school, or to be closer to extended family. Regardless of the motivation, under New York law before a parent can move away with the he or she must seek approval from the court.

Factors considered by the court

There are many factors that a court may consider in determining whether or not to approve a parent’s request to move the child including:

  • The needs of the child
  • The rights of each parent (although the needs of the child takes precedence)
  • The impact of the move on the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent
  • The reason the custodial parent wants to move
  • The harm that might occur if the move is not allowed
  • Whether there is economic necessity for the move
  • Whether there are health reasons for the move
  • Whether the non-custodial parent has an interest in becoming the custodial parent
  • The feasibility of a change in custody
  • How strong the child’s ties are to the noncustodial parent
  • How strong the child’s ties are to the community
  • Whether the noncustodial parent is acting in good faith in opposing the move
  • Whether a visitation schedule is feasible that would allow the noncustodial parent and child to have a meaningful relationship
  • The impact of the move on the child’s quality of life
  • Whether impact of the move on extended-family relationships

It is important to note that just because a parent has sole custody does not automatically mean that the court will approve a relocation petition by that parent where the other parent opposes it.


In the case of MCK v. Elizabeth A.E., 111 A.D.3d 124 (N.Y. App. Div., 2013), the mother, Elizabeth E., sought permission to move with the parties' child from New York to Oxford, Mississippi. Elizabeth and the child’s father, MCK, were never married. Elizabeth E. was struggling financially while living in New York due to losing her job and being unable to find another job that would cover her living expenses. In addition MCK was inconsistent in paying child support. Thus, Elizabeth sought to move to Mississippi close to her mother and other extended family where she would be able to work steadily. MCK opposed the move. The court ruled in favor of Elizabeth E. based on the improved quality of life that the child would enjoy, on Elizabeth’s improved financial situation, and based on the fact that the MCK would be afforded broad access to the child.

New York Child Relocation Lawyer

Child relocation cases are often difficult and complicated. The court will seek to do what is in the best interests of the child and at the same help ensure that the child maintains a close relationship with both of his or her parents. Because of the complexity of child relocations cases it is important that you are represented by an attorney with experience. The staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates has years of experience successfully representing clients who have custody disputes, as well as those who need representation in divorce, child support or spousal support matters. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your concerns related to your family law case.

1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)