Child Relocation After a Divorce in New York

Child Relocation After a Divorce in New York

After a divorce, the former spouses move on with their lives. During so, they can find themselves in new situations that can require them to move. This may be due to a job opportunity or a family matter. While this can be an exciting time in their life, it can also be difficult if the individual is a parent.

When a divorced parent wants to move, they usually want their child to come with them. Sometimes, the other parent will oppose this, as they want their child to stay close to them as well. When this happens, the parents may be required to go through litigation to settle the issue. While a non-custodial parent does not have physical custody of their child, it is important to know that they have the right to fight for their child to stay.

Physical Custody vs Legal Custody

When child custody arrangements are established, parents can attain physical and legal custody. Both custody situations relate to different aspects of a child’s life. Physical custody determines the child’s custodial parent. This means they will live with this parent most of the time. However, they also spend time in the non-custodial parent’s home.

When a parent is given legal custody, they have the right to be involved in making important decisions for the child during their life. This can include matters such as medical treatment, education, religious practices, their general upbringing, and even issues of relocation. Parents who do not have physical custody should still fight to obtain legal custody. This allows them to speak up, especially during situations in which the custodial parent wants to move with their child.


Some parents are able to settle matters dealing with relocation between themselves. Other times, they may be required to go to court for a judge to decide. When this happens, the parent who wants to move is required to convince the court that relocation would be in the best interest of the child. Alternatively, the parent that opposes the move can express their disagreement. During this time, the judge considers several factors to determine the impact the move would have on both the parent and the child. 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 The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. today.

The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., rated Nassau County’s “BEST” divorce lawyers and proudly serving clients in Nassau and Suffolk County for more than 22 years, is always available to assist and represent parties in divorce, separation and all other matrimonial and family law matters. Call today to schedule your complimentary case analysis: (516) 938-3330.

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