Will I Be Able To Relocate With My Child?

Relocating with a child — whether across town or across state lines — is always a complicated endeavor. In many respects, New York's laws make it more so.

Simply put, it can be extremely difficult for a custodial parent to obtain the court's permission to move. This is largely because all decisions in New York Family Court hinge on establishing that a child's best interests are prioritized. Because relocating will separate a child from his or her noncustodial parent, friends, school and community, it is challenging to prove that moving will benefit the child. Oftentimes, an experienced attorney can help make your case.

What General Criteria Do The Courts Consider?

In such matters, the Law Offices of David Bliven can be of assistance. Whether you are seeking to relocate, or endeavoring to keep your child nearby, we offer experienced and effective legal counsel. Serving in White Plains and throughout Westchester County for over 20 years, we have helped numerous individuals arrange living accommodations to best serve their children.

The courts consider a number of factors when deciding relocation matters, including:

  • Each parent's reason for seeking or prohibiting the move
  • Each parent's relationship to the child(ren)
  • The effect the move will have on the child's relationship with the noncustodial parent
  • The effect the move will have on the child's relationships with extended family
  • Whether the move will deepen tensions between the parents
  • Whether the move will benefit or hinder the child's economic, medical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing

Our firm is adept in facilitating all manner of modifications to support and custody agreements; in considerations of relocation, we will help ensure your interests are asserted.

What more specific factors are considered in making a relocation determination?

Preliminarily, the parties are always free to settle on the issue of the custodial parent moving with the child to another state. But even if the parties execute an out-of-court agreement to that effect, the parties are well-advised to still file a petition with the Family Court to reduce the agreement to a court order.

Pursuant to the seminal NY case of Tropea v. Tropea, the overriding standard on relocation cases is the "best interests of the child." The Judge will generally consider the "totality of the circumstances" and specifically consider the reasons for seeking or opposing the move, the quality of relationships between child and custodial and non-custodial parent, the impact of the move on future contact with the non-custodial parent, the degree the child's life may be enhanced economically, emotionally and educationally by the move, and feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-custodial parent and child through suitable visitation arrangements. Regardless, either party in a contested Custody Relocation case is well-advised to retain an experienced Family Law attorney.

Obtain The Legal Support You Need

To consult with a lawyer, call us at 914-368-7580 or arrange an appointment online. We offer free initial assessments and schedule full consultations as a case requires.