What Happens When A Parent Needs To Relocate Outside Of New York, And Would They Need A Valid Reason For Doing So?
If a parent needs to relocate outside of New York, unless the non-relocating parent consents to the move then a relocation application would need to be made to a court. Most people who are looking to relocate do not yet have a court order, but some do have a court order which contains a relocation provision. If there is a relocation provision, then it would need to be addressed in light of that parent’s intention to relocate. The first question to be answered is whether or not moving would impact the ability for one parent to have a meaningful relationship with the child. For example, if the child is living in New York and seeing their father on a regular and frequent basis, then then the likelihood of the court permitting a relocation of that child to another state would be questionable, and would require the court to consider if it is in the child’s best interests to relocate.
How Much Advance Notice Must Be Given To A Parent Who Intends To Relocate With A Child?
A parent should not relocate to another state without first obtaining the consent of the other party. It’s highly recommended that the parent who wants to move seeks alternate arrangements with the other parent in order to keep the existing schedule as intact as possible. This might mean giving one party additional holidays that were normally split between the parties or a lengthier period of time in the summer; these are just a couple examples of ways to ameliorate such a drastic change.
In the event a parent leaves New York State without consent and is outside the state for more than six months, the other state becomes the home state of the child and litigation might have to occur in that other state. If a parent moves out of the state and hasn’t discussed that with the other parent, then it would be essential to immediately file for an application before the court for custody. If this were to occur when there is an ongoing order, then the parent should file a violation of the custody and visitation agreement.
It is important that a parent who plans to relocate gets written confirmation (e.g. text message, email, handwritten affidavit) from the parent who consents to the move. If it later becomes a contested issue, there is evidence to show the court that the other party agreed to the move. Having a series of text messages that lend credibility to the fact that a parent is consenting to the move is much better than just a war of words between the parties.
The court is going to consider a number of factors when a relocation request is presented. These factors include whether the relocation will cause a significant change to the parenting schedule that’s already in place, the income difference or employment opportunity that a parent might have in another state, the support system that may be established in another state, and whether a better school district or living arrangement might exist in the other location.
Will The Court Change The Visitation Schedule Due To Relocation?
If a court were to grant a relocation application, they would undoubtedly have to make changes to the order which would allow visitation or parenting time to occur with the other parent. If a parent is moving to Arizona, it will be significantly more difficult to continue having meaningful contact with the child than it would be if the parent was only moving to an area in Pennsylvania. As a condition of permission to relocation, the court might require that the parent who is relocating pay for the transportation costs incurred by the other parent due to greater travel distances in accordance with the visitation or parenting time plan.
These issues are appealable. Appeals are a separate process from the lower tier or the trial courts, like family court. The appellate procedure takes place in a different court. In most cases, multiple jurists who are on a panel make a determination as to whether or not an appeal decision can go forward. The appellate courts are unable to hear every single case. Generally speaking, they address cases that involve a novel issue of fact or law.
It is common for agreements that are created between parties to contain a relocation clause or a court decision that both parents reside in a certain location. For example, if both parents live in the Bronx, there may be a provision that prohibits the parties from relocating out of the Tri-State Area or to a location that is more than a certain distance in mileage (e.g. 15 to 30 miles) from a particular location. Many judges will see a change in location of over an hour as a hindrance to an existing parenting arrangement, maintaining the status quo.
For more information on Child Support, Visitation & Custody, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (718) 737-9669 today.
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