Custodial parent relocation basics

While divorce is generally not an easy process for two married people at any time, the issue becomes even more complicated when you have children. One of the most complex child custody situations pertains to relocation. Many concerns surround a custodial parent moving with his or her children and severing the relationship with the other parent. 

We understand how New York laws apply to difficult child custody matters and have helped many of our clients with their cases. 

The best interests of the child determine the move 

According to FindLaw, your move must be in the best interest of your child, especially if the other parent disputes the move. This is sometimes referred to as having a “good faith” reason for the move. Some examples of good faith reasons to move include the following. 

  • You must move due to a new or better job 
  • You move to continue your education 
  • You move to be closer to your family, who will help with childcare 
  • You move to a place with a better cost of living 

The judge will have the final decision 

Even if you are the custodial parent, the judge has the final say when it comes to relocating with your child. If the judge determines that the move would put too much strain on your child’s relationship with their other parent, they may deny your request to move. 

The judge will also take into consideration how much time the other parent spends with your child. If the other parent is mostly absent from your child’s life, for example, their objection to your move is likely to hold less weight. More information about this topic is available on our webpage.