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Can a custodial parent relocate with children post-divorce?

Couples going through a divorce are usually already concerned about how the end of the marriage will effect their relationship with their children, so when the custodial parent announces an intent to relocate with the child, it could end up wreaking havoc in an already challenging situation. This issue can raise concerns about the visitation schedule, travel expenses, and even modification of child custody. These matters have to be addressed expressly and head-on as soon as possible.

Usually, divorced couples do not include this contingency in their original custody plans. Without an agreement between the parents, it is up to the courts in New York to make decision about the child's best interests when it comes to child custody issues as they relate to parental relocation. If the court finds that it is not in the best interests of the child for a custodial parent to move, then the custodial parent may have to reside within a certain radius of his her her current residence.

Courts agree to parental relocation if there is an agreement that has an express consent to the relocation and a proposed visitation schedule within the original child custody arrangement. Where the relocating parent is required to provide notice, courts usually still require the noncustodial parent's consent. Courts also look at good faith reasons for moving, including wanting to be nearer to one's family in order to help with child rearing responsibilities, searching for new and better job opportunities, and continuing one's education.

Child custody arrangements are very important in divorce proceedings, and anticipating every eventuality in order to ensure they are thorough is essential. An experienced attorney may be able to help create a comprehensive custody agreement, which may include helping a parent wade through the complexities of custodial parent relocation.

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