Relocation in Custody & Visitation Matters

Hopefully after your divorce is finalized, you and your ex-spouse have worked out some sort of child custody and visitation schedule that benefits both of you. Nothing feels quite as awkward and uncomfortable as knowing that your marriage ended on unfair, one-sided terms, or with an agreement that is overly complicated or inconvenient. This is why it can be so upsetting to learn that your ex wants to relocate elsewhere and take your child with them.

Relocating with Your Child: Is It Allowed?

Each parent has the inherent right to see their child, regardless of whether or not they were rewarded full or joint custody. But each parent also has the right to want to live their life according to their own wishes and desires. Sometimes this means pursuing a new career in an entirely different state. When this happens, can they take their children with them and basically throw the old custody and visitation agreements into the wind?

As with so many other matters in divorce, it all comes down to what the court believes is the child’s best interests. Children take priority, and family law disputes are certainly no exception. In terms of relocating the child’s home far and away from one of the parents will likely only be an option if the move will not completely disrupt the child’s life, and if the child clearly benefits from living with the parent that is moving.

Child Custody Laws in New York

A parent's decision to move may career-based or a new relationship, whether it is several miles away or the parent is moving out of the state. However, if the other parent does not agree to relocation, New York law states that the courts will not allow the relocating parent to move away with the child.

Young children who have not made significant connections to their community may have no problem with leaving New York and living up in Maine; in such a case, the relocation may be granted. Teenagers, on the other hand, may be responsible enough to live with either parent and choose to stay in their hometown; in this scenario, the relocation could be denied by the court and child custody rights would be transferred to the parent that is not moving away.

It is difficult to predict the outcome of a relocation case, however, since each one is totally unique. Your life, the life of your ex, and your child’s interests will all weigh on and affect the court’s decision. The best bet may be to get to work with a family lawyer as soon as you know relocation is on the horizon. With the help of our Dutchess County divorce attorneys from the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, we can craft a solid case on your behalf that argue clearly to the court why your needs to relocate, or stay put with your child, should be respected.

Call (845) 605-4330 today for more information about our legal services.

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