Effect of Relocation on New York Child Custody

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Relocating can disrupt a New York child custody order.  Therefore, courts carefully consider the cause for the move and determine whether the move will be best for the child involved or not.  Being aware of how relocation can affect New York child custody can often help establish guidelines for parents and get them to think about potential repercussions before making such a move.

When there is no child custody order in a case, this can make things more complicated.  If a divorce is pending and one parent moves out of state with the children, the new state may have the power to assert jurisdiction over the matter.  If there is an existing child custody order in place in New York, a relocation hearing is usually filed by one of the parents.  The court hears testimony and receives evidence to determine if the relocation is in the best interests of the child.  If the parent who is not moving objects to the move, the court will carefully weigh these objections and the likely effect that a move will have on the child.

According to New York case law, the individual circumstances must be factored into each case regarding parental relocation.  The court should carefully weigh which outcome will most likely serve the child’s best interests.  To make this determination, the court considers the parent’s reason for wanting or challenging the move, the type of relationship between each parent and the child, how the move may interfere with contact with the non-custodial parent, how the move will affect the child’s relationship with extended family members, how the child’s lifestyle will be impacted by the move and the plausibility of maintaining a significant relationship between the noncustodial parent and the child in the event of a move.

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