Relocation Issues in New York

helping father's win custodyCan a residential custodial parent simply pack up with the children and move out of town, negatively impacting on the other parent’s visitation situation with the children and relationship with the children? The answer to this question is, no. It is necessary to have a signed and acknowledged agreement between the parents or obtain an order from either the Family Court or the Supreme Court allowing the residential custodial parent to relocate.

Best Interests of the Child

In the State of New York there is a case, Tropea v. Tropea which deals with issues concerning custodial parents relocating. This case determined the relocation of a custodial parent out of the “restricted area” should be determined based upon what is in the best interests of the children. As a result of this case, each request by a custodial parent is considered with regard to the circumstances of the parents and the children. A judge, after considering the facts and circumstances, renders a decision on what would be in the children’s best interest. The courts in these cases take into consideration the rights and needs of the parents as well as the needs of the children. However, the greatest weight is placed on what is in the children’s best interests.

Impacting on the Court’s Decision

The factors courts will consider on issues concerning relocation are:


  • the nature and circumstances of the relationships between the children and both the non-custodial and custodial parents;
  • how the move will impact on the quality and ability of the child to maintain a relationship with the non-custodial parent;
  • consider how visitation arrangements will be made with the non-residential custodial parent after the move;
  • the reasons for the parent seeking to move;
  • will the child’s life be enhanced educationally, emotionally, and economically related to relocating;
  • is the parent seeking to relocate making the application to the court in good faith;
  • the closeness of the relationship between the non-custodial parent and the children;
  • how often does the non-custodial parent visit with the children, recreate with the children, attend school, social and athletic events of the children;
  • can a new visitation arrangement be worked out which maintains the relationship between the non-custodial parent and the children;
  • is there hostility or interference with visitation by the non-custodial parent;
  • are there extended family relationships that will be impacted on by the relocation, either positively or negatively; and,
  • other facts and circumstances which the court feels are relevant to the parties’ situation.

Do You Need to Relocate?

If you need to relocate it is extremely important you hire the most qualified, experienced attorneys available to help you with these proceedings. Our law firm has litigated numerous relocation cases and we have an unparalleled record of success in dealing with relocation problems!father's rights relocation attorney

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.