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Can my ex move away with our children?

Custody matters can be complex and emotionally difficult. Add the possibility of your children moving away with your ex and the situation becomes even more heart-wrenching. In these situations, it is vital to understand your legal rights and the potential decisions the court may take when deciding on the case.

As with all matters involving children, the New York family courts will ultimately do what is thought to be in their best interests. The court doesn’t automatically side with the custodial parent, however. Instead, each individual situation is weighed by a number of factors before a decision is rendered.

The courts will take several variables into consideration when deciding on moveaway cases, including:

  • Reasons parents are seeking or opposing the move
  • Quality of the relationship between children and each parent
  • Impact the move will have on the quantity and quality of future interactions with the noncustodial parent
  • Negative impact the move would have on relationship between parents
  • How the move will effect relationships with the children’s extended family
  • Degree of lifestyle improvements the move will have on parent and children economically, educationally and emotionally
  • Feasibility of continuing a meaningful relationship with the noncustodial parent
  • Harm that will be caused if the move isn’t granted

Depending on what the court surmises from these factors, the court may decide in several ways. In some cases, the court may allow the move and establish regular contact and visitation for the noncustodial parent so a nurturing relationship can continue. In other cases, the court may feel that a child’s needs are better served by changing custody, if that is something the noncustodial parent wishes. In other cases, the solution may be for the noncustodial parent to move as well.

If your child’s other parent wants to relocate with your children, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced family law attorney. A skilled lawyer will understand the intricacies of these types of cases and advocate for your best interests.