In the event one parent wishes to move away (relocate), it may seriously impact the access and visitation rights of the other parent. A custodial parent may move away for a better life, a better paying job, remarriage, and/or to be closer to grandparents/other family members.
The issues of relocation are governed in New York by a case Tropea vs Tropea.
In relocation cases, the parent that wishes to relocate, has the burden of establishing with evidence that relocation is in the best interests of the child(ren), weighed against the parent’s right to access/visitation.
The court will weigh in the following factors:
reasons for a parent requesting the relocation and reasons why the other parent is opposing the move.
the attachment of child to each parent
the ability of the child to still have meaningful access with the parent should a relocation be permitted
the impact of quality of life on the child should the child relocate or stay
relationship of the parents and their ability to co-parent
the effects of other family members and impact a relocation would have on those relationships
any other factors that the court may deem appropriate in deciding whether to permit relocation of a minor child with the parent requesting such relocation.
In any legal situation, it is usually best for a custodial parent to get written confirmation from the non-custodial parent saying that the non-custodial parent consents to the relocation, or to secure a Court Order permitting the relocation prior to any move or relocation of the child. It is important to have the guidance of a highly skilled and knowledgeable attorney.
Milana Tepermayster, Esq