About Relocation


After a divorce has been finalized, there are still issues and disputes that can arise. During the divorce process, child custody, child support, and visitation rights should have been agreed upon and made legally binding. These measures are necessary to the stability and well-being of the children and help the recovery process run smoothly. One issue that may arise soon after the divorce, or between former spouses, is a dispute over relocation. The parent with primary custody may wish to move away in order to pursue a job opportunity, improved financial situation, or a better life for the children. No matter their reasons for wanted to relocate, the custodial parent must first take the necessary legal steps and file their request for relocation with the family court.


Before approving one parent’s request to relocate with their children, the New York City family court will evaluate a number of factors. One of their primary concerns is the child’s relationship with the other parent, and how the move would affect that relationship. The family judge will consider whether the child has a close relationship with the parent and whether the parent is active and involved in the child’s life. If the other parent regularly misses visitations with the child and they do not have a very strong bond, the court may decide that relocation will not greatly impact the child’s relationship with the parent.

Additionally, before ruling on the request for relocation, the court will weigh such factors as:

  • The ability for the child to maintain visitation with their noncustodial parent
  • The child’s attachment to the noncustodial parent
  • The potential impacts upon the child’s quality of life if the relocation is granted or denied
  • How the move would affect the child’s relationships with extended family members
  • How relocation would impact the child’s education
  • The child’s community ties
  • Whether both parties agreed upon geographical restrictions in their original divorce decree or separation agreement

The family court’s top priority is the well-being of the children, and the judge will consider all the possible effects moving could have on them before ruling on the request for relocation. If your children’s parent is attempting to relocate your loved ones, do not hesitate to retain powerful legal advocacy to protect your rights.


Do not give up your rights by failing to protest the relocation of your child. You are not powerless in the matter! Should you choose to speak to an attorney from our firm, we could review your case and ascertain your best legal options. Since 1993, The Law Offices of Andrew J. Spinnell have been providing high-quality and professional legal representation to clients throughout New York City and Manhattan. We can provide you with caring counsel and relentless defense in court. If you need effective representation to fight for you during a relocation hearing, contact a New York City family attorney today. Let us help you stand up for your rights.