Is a Move in Your Future?

Relocating after divorce in New York

The promise of new beginnings waits at the end of every divorce. Amicable or bitter, partners who split are hoping for a chance to start over, sometimes in a new relationship, sometimes in a new location. If children are involved, what can you expect if you want to relocate?

As with any aspect of divorce, the best custody agreements are made outside of court, between civil parents dedicated to providing a stable post-divorce environment for their children. But as experienced family law attorneys, we routinely see that even parents with the best intentions have difficulty agreeing when a custodial parent considers a long-distance move.

If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court must make legal decisions. In recent years, as with the matter of Tropea v Tropea, the New York Court of Appeals found that issues of relocation should reflect the best interests of children, including the following points:

  • Quality of relationship between the child and non-custodial parent
  • Impact of a relocation on parenting bonds
  • Necessity and reasoning underpinning the relocation
  • Emotional, social, academic, and physical needs of a child
  • Qualitative improvement of living environment for a child upon relocation
  • Reasoning of each parent in support of or in objection to the relocation

Custody actions concerning relocation often reawaken the original conflicts that led to a divorce and create instability for parents and children. When planning a new beginning, get good legal advice and do your best to make all the right moves for you—and your children.


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