A move complicates child custody matters

For some New York couples, child custody is straightforward and simple. However, other parents might find themselves dealing with a complex child custody situation, which can be the result of a variety of factors. One of these factors is the issue of moving far away after a divorce.

Good faith versus bad faith reasons for a move

There are many reasons people decide to move after a divorce. However, when there are children involved, a move becomes a legal issue since it is related to and can affect the best interest of the child. When a parent decides to move, the court will look at the reason for the move and decide if the parent’s move is based on a good-faith decision or not.

Good faith moves include moving for better job prospects or better quality of life, moving to be closer to extended family and moving to continue studying. Other reasons for moving, such as moving to lower child support payments, moving to get revenge on an ex-spouse or to keep an ex-spouse from having access to the children might be perceived as a bad-faith move by the court.

What courts consider when deciding on a parental move

Beyond looking at the person’s reason for the move, courts consider several other factors. Many of these involve issues that directly affect the best interest of the child. These include:

  • The distance of the move
  • If visitation can continue uninterrupted
  • How involved the non-custodial parent was before the move
  • The impact of the move on the child’s emotional well-being and their relationship with the other parent
  • The child’s preference about the move

In the end, the parent who decides to move will have the responsibility of convincing the court why this is best for the children and themselves. They will also need to inform the other parent within a reasonable time period about the move.