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Can a custodial parent relocate with a child?

There are many parents in New York who are divorced. However, as they know just because you are no longer married, they are still parents. This means that, in most situations, both parents will continue to be involved in the children's lives and see the children. However, the relationship is now governed by a child custody order. These orders state which parent will be making decisions for the child and also generally set a parenting time schedule for the parents.

Circumstances can change over the course of a child's life though. A parent at some point in time may wish to move. This is not a major problem if they stay fairly close to the other parent, but sometimes a parent may wish to move much further away. This could be for a job opportunity, to be closer to family or just because they want a change of scenery. However, if the move will prohibit the other parent from exercising his or her parenting time or custodial rights, the parent may need a court order to do so.

When making a decision about whether to allow a parent to relocate, the judge will analyze a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, the reasons the parent wants to relocate and reasons the other parent does not consent to it; how the relocation will benefit the parent and the child, the relationship of the non-moving parent with the child, other visitation schedules that would allow the non-moving parent and the child to maintain a relationship and others.

Many parents in New York have child custody orders governing their relationship with their children. These must be followed until they are modified and that is why a parent who wishes to relocated may need a court order to allow them to do so. These decisions are very fact specific though and the outcomes vary from case to case. Experienced attorneys understand the factors for relocation and may be able to guide one through it.

Source: nycbar.org, "Relocation" accessed on Aug. 2, 2017

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