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What Factors are Considered in a Custody Relocation Case?

Sometimes parties settle on custody, but then 1 parent wishes to move with the child or children out-of-state.

Relocation Should be Done in Court
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.

If the Noncustodial Parent Objects, then a Relocation Trial will need to be held
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.

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