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I relocated with my daughter after mutual agreement with her father. He then filed a petition to bring me back. Now what?

Q: Hello, I wanted to get a second opinion on my case. I was granted sole legal and physical custody of my daughter. Her father has visitation every Sunday. He announced to me he was moving out of state during the summer and so I also decided to move to a different state where I would have closer family. So I moved 3 weeks ago. Father of the child was in complete agreement and we had discussed how visitation would happen. The minute I left he filed a writ of habeas corpus claiming that I took the child out of state against his will and he requested I bring back the child. FYI He is out of status as far as his visa situation is concerned so he cannot have custody because he could get deported one day. So now the problem is that the judge wants me there with the child for a hearing that will take place a couple weeks from now and my attorney informed me that the judge also wants me to remain in NY until the case is resolved. Under what circumstances can I avoid staying in NY? Would having a job or going to school where I am now be a reason for the judge not to keep me in NY until a resolution? I am already settled here and can absolutely not stay in NY for more than a couple days.

A: Generally you should have filed for court permission to relocate, or alternatively have had a parenting agreement executed to that effect. There are numerous issues assessed in a relocation case, including 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. Schedule a consult with a White Plains Family Law attorney for a full assessment.

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