What to do when your child wants to move

If you’re like most New York parents, you do a good job of caring for your child. However, this doesn’t mean that your child won’t at some point request to live with your former partner instead of staying with you. Ideally, you won’t take the request personally and will instead make a good-faith effort to determine if accommodating the request is in the child’s best interest.

A transfer might not be realistic

Your child is likely living with you because you are located close to a good school district or to extended family members. They may also be living with you because your former partner isn’t mentally, physically or financially capable of caring for a child on a regular basis. In such a scenario, you should calmly tell your child that a change of residence simply isn’t feasible at the moment.

Consider a compromise

Even in a complex child custody case, there may be room for compromise. For instance, you may decide to allow your child to spend an extra evening per week with the other parent. You may also agree to let your child spend extra time with the other parent during school breaks. It may be necessary to ask for permission if you are planning to send your child out of state to spend more time with your child’s noncustodial parent.

The best interests of your child supersede your own feelings about where your child should live after a divorce. In some cases, even if this means that a custody agreement can’t be changed, it’s important to understand why your child wants to live elsewhere and what you can do to make your child feel more comfortable in your home.