RELOCATION OF CHILDREN
When a family first separates, rarely does either parent consider planning for the long term. After the divorce, both parties want to restart their life in, perhaps, new employment, a new school district for the children, or move to a different state for better economic circumstances.
The courts have rigorous criteria for a custodial parent to relocate out of what is typically a 25 or 50 miles radial limitation from where the custodial parent and the children reside. This radial limitation is either applied by the courts after trial or by custodial agreements. The radial limitation is set so that the non-custodial parent has reasonable access to the children on a reasonable basis. Typically, a non-custodial parent can travel anywhere on Long Island or in the New York Metropolitan area within 25 or 50 miles in an acceptable amount of time.
However, when the custodial parent wants to relocate outside beyond this radial limitation, the courts must intervene to allow the move in that the non-custodial parent will certainly resist.
The criteria for such judicial review to grant a move is based not only on what the custodial parent’s perceived advantages, but more importantly, how such a move will affect the child or children and their access to the non-custodial parent. The case law has been well developed over several decades refining the requirements for such relocation.
Many times, custodial parents, enthused with the prospects of a new job, a better neighborhood, a better standard of living, and even a new home, file a relocation petition with the court without understanding how much resistance the court, as well as the non-custodial parent, will put up to frustrate the custodial parent’s relocation.
The Law Offices of Lewis C. Edelstein, Esq., P.C. has had many successful relocation cases. The reason is that before the custodial parent filed a relocation petition, either in the Family Court or Supreme Court, that parent consults with this firm months before the filing. This way, the case can be analyzed and a comprehensive plan can be made to the court. There is no guarantee that any relocation petition will be successful or defeated for that matter, but in this area of family law, planning is essential, if not critical.