Custodial Parent Moving Out of State: Is It Allowed?

Can I Relocate with My Child?

Are you a custodial parent? As you know, circumstances change in life. You may have remarried, gotten a new job, lost your job, or realized New York just doesn’t feel like home anymore. Whatever the reason, know that you cannot simply move away with your child without going to court, especially if you desire to move out of state.

This is because relocating with your child could not only deprive your child of time with the noncustodial parent but also deprive the noncustodial parent of court-ordered time with your child. Child custody orders specify the location in which the custodial parent must remain and if they don’t, you must ask permission from the court to relocate with your child because you are the custodial parent.

New York judges prioritize the child’s wellbeing above all, and in many cases, this means the child should get quality time with both parents. As such, even if your child custody agreement permits relocation, you are still better off working out a new custody arrangement with your ex-spouse. Or, you could get a court order to get approval from the court, and from there, a judge will decide whether or not relocation is in your child’s best interests.

  • Each parent’s reasons for seeking the relocation or fighting against the relocation
  • The quality of the child’s relationship with each parent
  • The impact relocation will have on the child’s future contact with the non-custodial parent and any other children (i.e., courts would rather not split up siblings, if possible)
  • The degree to which the relocation may make the child’s life better, including financially, emotionally, and educationally
  • The ability to maintain a good relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child through other visitation arrangements

Despite these considerations, the custodial parent is always advised to draft a written agreement with the noncustodial parent regarding the relocation, validating that there is mutual consent to the move. Alternatively, the custodial parent could get a court order allowing the relocation.

As Dutchess County’s trusted attorneys, we want to help you achieve your relocation goals without the hassle and stress of getting approval from both the court judge and your ex. It is helpful to have a lawyer draft your written agreement and ensure it sits well with the courts. Doing so could allow you to better avoid disputes with your ex or, worse, criminal charges for contempt of court.

To discuss your situation with us, reach out online or at (845) 605-4330!

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