Relocation and Child Custody

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For family law and divorce representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479

Your divorce is finalized and everything is going great. You and your spouse have a workable child custody and child visitation schedule, and everyone is relatively happy, especially your children.

However, the time comes where someone wants to make a change that involves relocating out of state. Perhaps it is a job opportunity, or a desire to move closer to other family members. Or, perhaps it is as simple as a desire for a fresh start in a new place.

Child custody and relocation are hot topics in family law courts. But before you explore the legal aspect of moving out of state with your children, you should first examine the impact to everyone involved. You need to employ a cost-benefit analysis to your prospective move, i.e., the benefits and detriments of staying put versus relocating. This can be as simple as putting a line down a piece of paper and writing all the benefits each location offers, as well as all the costs or detriments of each location.

Some issues that you will likely want to address, include the following:

  • Children’s interaction with their other parent
  • It is likely the other parent will have less frequent contact (even if the contact will be for a longer duration)
  • How will this impact the children?
  • How will this impact your spouse?
  • What about expenses, including travel expenses for the children going back and forth?
  • Are there quality of life issues?
  • Will your children be able to deal with the loss of time with friends and relatives where they currently live?
  • School issues?

If you weigh all the factors and decide it is still in everyone’s best interest to relocate and take the children with you, then you will need to determine whether your spouse will contest the move. If so, you will need to petition the court to take the children, and you will need to be prepared to address many issues with the court, including (remember, the court will focus on the interest of the children):

  • Does the divorce decree address relocation? If so, has the party desiring relocation complied with the order?
  • Will the move lead to a better quality of life for the children?
  • Does the spouse staying put exercise his or her visitation rights with the children, and if so, how much time does he or she spend with them?
  • Are you willing to allow longer, less frequent visits? Is your spouse?
  • Is the relocating spouse willing to absorb the additional travel expense for these visits?
  • If the children are older, what is their position regarding the move?
  • An experienced family law attorney can assist you with your issues regarding relocation as well as help you prepare or fight a petition for relocation. Regardless of your position, you will want to be prepared to present the strongest possible case to the court.

    Contact Suffolk County, New York, Family Law Attorney Shawn Kassman

    If you seek relocation from Suffolk County or Nassau County, please call family attorney and divorce lawyer Shawn Kassman or a member of his legal team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and assist clients from our locations at Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location) and represent mothers and fathers throughout Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located down the street from the courthouse and we can assist you with your family law or divorce matter during your time of need.

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