New York Move Away Custody Lawyer

When a custodial parent wants to move away with the child he or she must get approval from the court. This is the case even if the custodial parent has sole custody. Whether the move is 50 miles away or 500 miles away the effect on the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent will likely be significant as that parent will no longer be able to participate in day-to-day activities with the child such as attending school events, attending in extracurricular activities, and helping with homework. 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 custody 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 move away with the child

The parent with the physical custody of the child is typically the parent who would like to move away with the child. While there are many reasons that a parent might want to move one of the most common reasons is to accept a new job. For example, 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 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.

Another reason is to continue education. For example, Rachel and Steven lived in New York. Following their divorce Rachel was awarded custody of their 3-year old daughter and Steven was granted general visitation. Rachel was accepted to graduate school in Dallas, Texas. She petitioned the court to allow her to relocate to Dallas along with their daughter. Steven objected. After considering a number of factors, the court decided that it was in the best interests of the child to allow Rachel to move away with her to Dallas.

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 away with 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, e.g. to accept a better paying job, to further education, or to be closer to extended family
  • 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 child support 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.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Child relocation cases are often difficult and complicated. Although there are a number of factors that will go into a judge’s decision, the judge will ultimately seek to do what is in the best interests of the child. Because of the complexity of child relocations cases it is important that you are represented by an attorney with experience. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & 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 case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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