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Relocation requests complicate child custody

Some of the most difficult cases heard in New York family courts are those that deal with a custodial parent who wants to move away from a non-custodial parent. These types of child custody disputes usually have no clear boundaries and generally involve the child or children in question missing out on quality time with family.

Whether the custodial parent wants to move within the state or thousands of miles away, there is no question that increasing the distance between the child and his or her other parent can and will affect the relationship between the two. A judge who must grant or deny the request is put into a position of having to choose which parent will be allowed to maintain a closer relationship with the child.

In most cases, the court system will judge the case based on several factors, including the possibility of maintaining a stable life for the child, whether the move will incorporate vastly different or detrimental cultural changes and whether the move is being made for a legitimate reason or to simply harm the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent. The child's age, especially if he or she is very young; relationship with each parent and his or her wishes are also generally taken into account when necessary.

Child custody cases that involve a request to relocate can be tricky because so many different aspects of the divorce and the child's relationship to each parent must be taken into account. When entering into these types of cases, it may be imperative that all parties involved are represented by a family law attorney who can help navigate through the many intricacies of the case and help the legal system come up with a decision that is the most beneficial to the child.

Source: The Huffington Post, "In the Child's Best Interest: What It Means in Move-Away Cases", Lisa Helfend Meyer, February 12, 2014

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