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Can divorced parents in New York move out of state?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Family Law |

When a divorced parent wants to move to a different state, it can complicate custody arrangements. In many cases, divorced New Yorkers must seek post-judgment modifications to alter existing plans.

Understanding custody law and the process of modifying your agreement is important if you or your former spouse is considering relocating to a different state.

Custody in New York

In the state of New York, custody agreements allocate both legal and physical custody. Physical custody determines the child’s primary residence. Legal custody involves decisions regarding education, upbringing, religion and medical care. A move to a different state generally requires modification of the original agreement.

In some cases, the initial custody agreement may permit out-of-state moves. A formal custody order modification might not be necessary if both parents agree to the move and its terms. However, putting this agreement in writing and filing it with the court can prevent future disputes.

Modifying your agreement

Parents can petition the court to review their custody agreement and make a post-judgment modification. The court evaluates several factors to determine if the move serves the child’s best interests, including the reasons behind the relocation and its impact on the child’s relationship with both parents. The child’s ties to their current community and school are also important. Finally, the courts consider the potential benefits of the move for the child’s overall well-being.

The relocating parent must explain the move. Common reasons for moving after divorce include job prospects, extended family needs or better living conditions. The court also assesses the impact on the non-relocating parent’s access to the child and determines if scheduled visitation can maintain their relationship.

Each family has unique needs, so modifying a custody agreement due to an out-of-state move can be complex. If you have questions about moving out of state with a New York custody agreement or need guidance on seeking post-judgment modifications, contact our team to discuss your case.



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