Mother Relocates to Texas and Seeks to Take Son With Her: Her Application is Denied

Two Parents Fighting Over Child

In a case before Justice James Pagones sitting in a Supreme Court Matrimonial Part in Dutchess County, New York, a mother brought an application to modify a stipulation of settlement which gave the child’s father temporary custody of their son. She sought to relocate the child to Texas. The mother had been a nurse in New York and she had moved to Texas to become a state trooper. Unfortunately, she was turned down for the state trooper’s job in Texas.

Court Refuses to Split up Children

Justice Pagones took the position that by moving to Texas the mother terminated her ability to spend time with the parties’ children. In addition she was no longer capable of attending counseling which had been set forth in the parties’ stipulation of settlement which had been so ordered by the court. In addition, the court found when she left her job as a nurse in New York, moved to Texas and didn’t receive a position as a state trooper she fell behind in her child support payments. She was now almost $50,000 behind in her child support payments. The court also found the mother sought to separate the parties’ children by moving one of them to Texas with her. Her application to the court proposed her daughter stay with the father in New York while the son moved to Texas with her. The court found this was not acceptable. Judge Pagones concluded the mother’s petition did not have supporting evidence that separating the two children would be in their best interest. He also found she was unable to offer a plausible submission of evidence that her daughter’s best interests would be enhanced by the court child support payments, taking her from her father, and moving her to Texas.

The father’s motion to dismiss the mother’s application was denied.


More and more judges are recognizing the valuable, loving relationship fathers have with their children. More and more fathers are having success in enforcing the laws in New York which makes custody decisions gender neutral.