Can I Move Away With My Child: The Law of Re-Location

I have returned from my vacation, schools back in session and summer is, for all accounts over. So, I am back to bloggging on a regular basis.

One of the most common post-divorce scenarios is that the custodial parent wishes to relocate and the move will negatively impact on the other parent’s relationship with the child. The Nassau County Family Court in the case Mr. G. v. Mrs. M (New York Law Journal, 8/28/07 (subscription required) provided a excellent primer on the subject and in doing so, denied a mother’s application to move with her child to Virginia.

As laid out in the leading case of Tropea v. Tropea, the issue is to be determined as is in the best interest in the child. In doing so, the Court is to consider the following criteria:

1.Each parent’s reason for either seeking or opposing the relocation;

2.the current state of the relationship between each parent and the child;

3.the impact that the relocation will have on the quality and of the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent;

4.the emotional, economic and educational effects that the move will have on the child; and

5.the feasibility of maintaining the relationship between the child and non-custodial parent.

The trial court must weigh all of the factors and determine not what would be best for the parents but, rather, what is in the best interests of the child.

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