Child Relocation After a Divorce in New York

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When spouses divorce, they move on with their lives. In doing so, they often find themselves with new opportunities. Sometimes, this can require them to move. This may be for a job or a family matter. These situations can be exciting in a person’s life. However, they can also be difficult if they are a parent.

When a divorced parent wishes to move to a new location, they typically want their child to relocate with them. Often times, the other parent will oppose this move because they want their child to stay close to them. This may require the parents to go to court to settle the matter. It is important to know that even though the non-custodial parent does not have physical custody, they can still fight for the child to not move.

Physical Custody vs Legal Custody

Custody arrangements can establish physical and legal custody of a child. While these concepts are different from another, they are both important. Physical custody determines the custodial parent of the child. This is the parent the child will live with the majority of the time. However, they also spend time in the non-custodial parent’s home.

Legal custody gives a parent the right to be involved in making important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. This can include medical treatment, education, religious practices, their general well-being, and even issues of relocation. It is crucial for parents who do not have physical custody to fight for legal custody of their child. This allows them to have a say in important matters, especially those in which the custodial parent wants to move their child.


There are some cases in which parents can settle relocation matters on their own. Other times, they may need the assistance of a judge in court to make the decision for them. When this happens, the parent who wants to move must convince the judge that relocating the child would be in their best interest. On the other side, the opposing parent can express their disagreement against the move. In addition to this, the judge considers outside factors to come to a decision. A judge considers how the move will impact:

  • The relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child
  • The child’s relationship with their extended family
  • The child’s academic and social life
  • The child’s quality of life

In addition to this, the court may also consider several factors related to the parents. This can include:

  • The reason for relocating
  • Why the non-custodial parent opposes the move
  • How the move may impact the custodial parent’s quality of life

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is seeking an experienced attorney for a divorce case, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today for a free consultation.

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