Relocation of Residence

Relocation of Residence

Applications to a Court by a parent seeking to move their residence with a child away from the geographic area of the home of a non-custodial parent are scrutinized by the courts to make sure that the child’s best interests are served by the potential move. The courts must consider each case individually and all relevant facts and circumstances, with the most emphasis being placed on the best interest of the child. While the rights of the parents are significant deciding factors to be considered, the child’s rights and needs are given the greatest weight.

New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, in Tropea v. Tropea, 87 N.Y.2d 727 (1996) set the standard for relocation cases in New York by placing the emphasis on whether or not relocating the child would be in their best interest. Here are some factors that the court will consider:

  • Each parent’s reason for seeking to relocate or opposing a relocation of the other
  • The quality of the relationship and bond between the child and each of the parents
  • The impact that relocating would have on the quantity and quality of the child relationship and future relationship with the non-custodial parent
  • The impact the move would have on the child’s extended family relationships
  • The negative impact, if any, of continued or worsened hostility between the parents
  • The extent to which the custodial parent and the child’s lifestyles may be enhanced economically, emotionally and educationally by the move
  • The reality of maintaining a meaningful relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child through adequate parenting time arrangements
  • The custodial parent’s reasons for wanting to relocate
  • The potential benefits that the child may enjoy if the move is permitted, such as, health, economical and educational
  • The harm that may ensue if the relocation request is denied

A remarriage of the custodial parent or an opportunity to better his or her economic situation is also seriously considered as a valid reason to relocate, so long as the impact on the child would be beneficial.

Mr. Pickney has successfully assisted custodial parents and their children relocate their residence out of New York State. On behalf of non-custodial parents, we have successfully defeated relocation attempts by custodial parents, including preventing international relocation.