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Mother’s Relocation Of Children Denied

father's rights attorneyIn a case in Monroe County, Supreme Court, Justice Dollinger took into consideration the preference of two boys, 11 and 14 years of age, in making a decision to allow them to stay in Rochester with their father. Their mother had brought an application to the Court to relocate the children to Washington DC. She had recently received a new position as an assistant dean at Howard University. The Judge, in his decision, stated “that consistency of their preference and the sound basis for it – it is undisputed they have friends, opportunity, activities, and substantial academic success in Rochester – requires that this Court ascribe some significant weight to their choice.”

Court Didn’t Want To Move Children From A Strong Environment

The Judge in his opinion also stated “it is undisputed the sons are thriving in Monroe County.” Both excel in academic performance; both are heavily involved in activities from Lego robotics, to boy scouts, music, religious instruction and other activities. Neither parent could cite a single example in which the two sons have not achieved substantial success in their home community.  Both boys had expressed their wishes to remain in Rochester. The Court found both the father and mother were excellent parents.  The Court took into consideration the relationship between both the custodial and non-custodial parent.  The Court looked at the degree to which the children’s lives might be enhanced by the move. The Court also took into consideration preserving the custodial relationship between the mother and the children concerning the move. The mother argued for continuing her custodial relationship with the children and that the move to Washington would provide them with cultural and academic opportunities.

Father’s Rights Protected

The father promised to keep the sons involved in the activities in the locality in Rochester, attend the same church and maintain a relationship with their friends. The court, in its decision, stated “in this Court’s judgment, the relocation to Washington, DC would impact the quality of the visitation as well as the casual, easygoing quality described by the father as the interaction with his sons.”  The Judge further wrote “if the father were required to visit his sons in Washington, there is no evidence as to how he would achieve reasonable visitation while staying in a hotel, for example. Based on these factors the quantity and quality of the father’s visitation will be substantially impacted by the relocation.”

It should be noted the sons, prior to the relocation, lived with the mother and the father had visitation on alternative weekends and two evenings a week.

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About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 30 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.