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Can A Custodial Parent Relocate With a Child in New York?

Posted on February 5, 2023

As remote work continues to expand throughout New York, more and more parents are deciding to relocate to their dream destinations. For some families, this is not an issue. For those that have custody agreements in place, this can be a tricky situation. How does New York handle relocation for a parent that has custody? As always, it is in your best interest to speak to a New York child custody attorney from the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., about your situation.

The Laws in New York

According to New York laws, a custodial parent cannot relocate with their child unless they have written consent from the other parent or an updated order from the court. This means that the custodial parent cannot simply move with the child to a new town (even if it is a few miles away) or across the country. Doing so could wind up costing the custodial parent custody of their child.

The Best Interests of The Child

If a custodial parent petitions the court to relocate, that parent must be able to show that doing so is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider all of the following when looking at the child’s best interests:

  • The reasons why the other parent is against the move
  • The reasons outlined in favor of relocation by the custodial parent
  • The school and social life of the child
  • How relocation could impact the life of the custodial parent
  • The relationship the child has with extended family members
  • The quality of life of the child
  • The relationship the child has with the other parent

Common reasons for relocation by the custodial parent that the New York courts often allow include the following:

  • A better job was offered
  • The custodial parent is getting remarried
  • The parent is buying a new home
  • The custodial parent was promoted
  • Relocating would allow for the custodial parent to provide a better life for the child

Potential Roadblocks to Relocating With Custody

There are potential roadblocks to relocation with your child even if you are the custodial parent. For example, if the other parent is highly involved in the child’s life, the court might strike down the request. Say, for instance, the other parent attends PTA events and the child’s games, drives them to school, and helps them complete projects regularly. All of this will make it difficult for the court to grant your relocation request because the child has a strong relationship with both parents.

Another potential roadblock to relocation is if you are doing so just to spite the other parent or out of anger towards the other parent. If you petition the court and have no valid reasons as to why you wish to move, the court will view the request as invalid and dismiss it. It is always prudent to speak with a New York child custody lawyer about your situation.

Call a New York Child Custody Lawyer Today

When you have questions about child custody, your current agreement, or need to have it modified, an experienced New York child custody lawyer can guide you through the situation. Call the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., today to discuss your case.

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