Increasingly in today’s fast-moving, mobile society a custodial parent may seek to relocate to another county or state for any number of reasons; often a job opportunity or transfer. Where there is a custody order in place that allows for visitation with the non-custodial parent, the custodial parent seeking to relocate with the child must petition the court for permission to do so.
Variables Considered by the Court
Broadly the court will use the “best interests of the child” approach to determine whether or not it will approve the relocation, but there are many factors the court considers in determining the child’s best interests and each case is different – so the evidence presented by the attorneys is critical to the outcome of the case.
Clearly the non-custodial parent’s ability to maintain a relationship with the child and exercise his or her parenting time is a central issue.
Additionally the court will weigh the factors listed below to attempt to balance the best interests of the child, the custodial parent’s desire to relocate and the desire of the non-custodial parent’s interests in maintaining his or her relationship with the child in opposing the relocation. While no single factor is the “deciding factor,” the court will typically consider the following:
- Reasons offered by the party requesting the relocation.
- Reasons that the non-custodial parent opposes the relocation.
- The strength or degree of attachment the child maintains with the custodial and non-custodial parent.
- The possibility of developing an acceptable alternate parenting time plan for the non-custodial parent so that he or she can maintain a significant relationship with the child.
- Will the proposed relocation be a positive or a negative in terms of the child’s lifestyle?
- How might the relocation affect the child’s relationships with his or her extended family?
Relocation cases are demanding and often complicated so it is critical that you have an experienced attorney on your side. Call us today at (315) 422-1080 for a free consultation from our Syracuse family law lawyer.
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