Parental relocation in the case of a divorce is a challenge from a legal and emotional standpoint. Even if the reason for the relocation is valid—job opportunity, a desire to return home for a parent who relocated for the marriage or a subsequent marriage—the impact on the child and the spouse who remains can be extremely difficult. This is one of the most contentious areas of matrimonial law, and one in which we have a great deal of experience.
The potentially adverse impact on the child is treated very seriously by the court. A parent who leaves the jurisdiction with the child with no agreement or court authorization to do so may find themselves ordered to return with the children.
The court considers numerous factors when ruling on a New York State parental relocation case:
- The child’s relationship to each of his or her parents
- The reason for the relocation
- The non-custodial parent’s opposition to the relocation
- The impact that the move will have on the child’s other family relationships – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
- The impact of the relocation on the lifestyle of both the child and the relocating parent
Parental relocation disputes are highly contested and it is imperative to consult with an experienced matrimonial attorney as swiftly as possible. A failure to act could be construed as giving approval to the move, so any delay could have life-long implications.