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When a Custodial Parent Wants to Relocate

Just as when a court initially determines child custody, any modifications in the parenting plan must be in the best interests of the child. This includes if a custodial parent wants to relocate. A judge will want to see how the child's relationships will be affected, not only to the other parent, but to other relatives, to friends, and to other important people in his or her life. The courts will also examine how a move would affect the child's education, and if it would harm important ties to his or her neighborhood.

A judge will take into consideration why the custodial parent wants to move, and then also listen to why the other parent is against the relocation. A court will have to determine the strength of the child's relationship to each parent, and how a move would affect the relationship to the noncustodial parent. Any possible effect on the relationship between the parents might also be examined. A judge will also have to consider how the parent and/or child will be affected by the move in finances, emotional well-being, and academics. The judge would also have to determine the likelihood and ease with which the noncustodial parent would be able to remain in the child's life in a meaningful way.

The decision could result in several different arrangements. For example, perhaps the court decides that it is best for the child if the custodial parent moves, but the noncustodial parent is given visitation rights. In this way, the child can preserve that vital relationship with each parent. In other circumstances, a court might even modify child custody. If a court deems that a relocation would harm a child whose ties to his or her hometown are too deep, the court might grant custody to the noncustodial parent. In this way, the former custodial parent is free to move, but the child does not have to undergo a severe change. At other times, the noncustodial parent might move too. A custodial parent often has a legitimate reason for moving, such as getting a job with which to provide for the family, or remarrying and joining a new family unit. If that parent needs to move, then the noncustodial parent may go too, to stay in the child's life.

If you want to relocate, then a Long Island divorce lawyer from our firm may be able to help you fight for the best interests of your family. If you need to fight against the other parent's moving, then the Meyers Law Group can help you with this matter too. We understand that you want what is best for your child. Contact us today to learn how our experience and passion can help you protect your child's future.