Assets, income and property can be divided evenly between parties during divorce proceedings, but there are some extremely important things that can’t be easily split into two pieces. As the innocent victims of divorce, children can be severely impacted by the separation of their parents and the ensuing struggles for custodial or visitation rights. This is one of the reasons why New York state law prioritizes the interests and well-being of children in legal disputes regarding relocation of the parents.
Fighting for the Right to Move
Many divorce negotiations result in one parent as the primary custodian and the other with limited visitation rights, although the parties can independently negotiate any kind of custody deal that satisfies both sides. It’s common for parents to disagree on custody and visitation rights, which means official mediation or a court ruling is needed to come to a final resolution.
Unless the court order stipulates rules regarding relocation of the custodial parent, then that parent needs to get permission before moving to a new location with the child. This may apply even if the move is a relatively short distance away if it would effect the other parent’s visitation rights or the child’s daily life. Parents must have legitimate reason for seeking or disputing the relocation in order to have footing in the court room.
Modern society is highly mobile, so it’s common for custodial parents to seek relocation in order to begin a new life, seek employment or be closer to family. While these reasons are considered by the court during a relocation case, the moving parent must also show that the transition will be beneficial to the child compared to the current standard. These claims must be backed up with solid arguments, which is why it’s essential for parents to seek advice from a professional custody and relocation lawyer to build their case.
Disputing the Relocation of a Custodial Spouse
Parents who have limited custody or visitation rights can dispute a relocation if the custodial parent intends to take the child with them. Non-custodial parents have several ways to argue the case for keeping the child where they are now, including the well-being of the child and violation of visitation rights. Requests to move will also be denied by the court if they believe the custodial spouse is moving purely out of spite or to prevent visitation from the other parent.
Relocations can disrupt relationships at school and other social networks, which is a strong argument against moving to a new city or state. Expected changes in living standards, including safety and quality of life, are also a big factor. Non-custodial parents can also dispute the relocation if it impairs their ability to visit their kids, although this only holds up if they have been diligently exercising their rights and have made an effort to be a part of their child’s life.
Preparing for Relocation Cases
Talking to a professional divorce attorney is the most important thing a parent can do to prepare for any kind of custody proceedings. There is a lot of room for debate in relocation cases, which is why proficient legal representation is highly recommended both in and out of the courtroom. In the end, the best outcome is for both parents to find a way to address the needs of their children through a mutual and equitable agreement.