After a divorce or separation, you may consider moving closer to family and loved ones or to pursue new work or educational opportunities. However, when you have children, this can complicate your child custody arrangement. Before you move, it’s always best to consult with an experienced Albany parental relocation lawyer at The Colwell Law Group, LLC. Below, we explain how state family law may impact your move, as well as how an experienced child custody attorney can help.
Is Moving in the Best Interests of Your Child?
Are you interested in relocating and bringing your child with you when you move? Has your former spouse told you that he or she is moving away with your child? Under these circumstances, you’ll likely need to get a court order that modifies your child custody and visitation arrangement — but you should prepare for a fight. What happens next can depend on the lawyer you get to represent you in an Albany parental relocation matter.
There are many reasons that parents relocate after a divorce or separation:
Job and education opportunities
Remarriage or a new relationship
A desire to reconnect with family or help an aging relative
Military deployment or transfers
A need for specialized medical treatment, due to an illness or disability
A desire for a fresh start in a new location
At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, we know exactly what steps to take to help you achieve your goals. We have more than 20 years of combined experience, which means that you can be confident that we have handled similar cases before.
To learn more about our experience handling relocation and child custody issues, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Albany lawyers.
Why Can’t I Just Take My Child With Me When I Move?
When you have a signed court order that divides parenting time and custody, you can face serious penalties if you intentionally violate it. If you’re just moving to a nearby town or suburb, and you won’t have any difficulties complying your child custody order, you may not need to modify your arrangement. However, if you’re moving farther away, you will need to craft a new custody arrangement with your child’s other parent and the court. Compared to many states, New York is very strict about parental relocation, and you may need a court order even if you’re moving just an hour and a half away.
For this reason, it’s almost always in your best interest to consult with an Albany lawyer before you relocate with your child. At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, we can help you avoid unnecessary complications and disputes with your ex-spouse or partner and ease your child’s transition during your move.
How the Courts Look at Parental Relocation Cases in Albany
Sometimes, a parental relocation attorney in Albany can help you negotiate a new child custody plan without significant litigation. We work closely with our clients and typically will start any relocation case with an attempt to resolve their custody and visitation issues out-of-court. Unfortunately, if the other parent is unwilling to compromise or negotiate, litigation is the only remaining option.
Our experience means that we understand what the courts look for when considering a parental relocation request. In determining whether the move is in the best interest of the child, the court asks:
Is the move a necessity for the child’s emotional and physical health?
Will the move enable the parent to obtain a higher income and better the child’s economic situation? Is the move an economic necessity?
What are the parents’ motivations for either moving or objecting to the move?
What is the quality of the child’s relationship with each parent and how will the move affect these relationships?
How will the move impact the other parent’s custody and visitation rights?
How far away is the parent moving and what are the expected travel costs?
Sometimes, the court will assess the other parent’s fitness to care for the child, if there is a desire on their part for primary custody.
These “best interest” factors require a careful and personalized analysis. When you partner with The Colwell Law Group, LLC we will work with you to have answers to these questions ready and a strategy for success in place before you enter the courtroom.
Each Albany Relocation Case Is Different
Every relocation case is different. For example, suppose you have primary custody of your child and plan to want to move out-of-state for a significant job opportunity. Your child’s other parent objects to your relocation, but only has visitation for one weekend per month. Your relocation lawyer offers a plan that assures the judge that you can arrange for your child’s safe transport and that you will continue to honor the other parent’s parenting time. In this case, there’s a good chance that your move will be approved.
However, suppose the other parent is highly involved in your child’s life. They show up at every talent show, sporting event, and parent-teacher conference. Your current visitation schedule gives them frequent time with your child. Now, assume that you’re moving across the country or internationally. Your child has voiced concern about the move, since it will disrupt their friendships, education, and extracurricular activities. In this situation, you’re going to face a hard-fought battle over custody rights, and you’ll need an experienced Albany NY relocation lawyer at your side
Relocation Alters Custody and Visitation Plans
Anytime a parent moves, it impacts their child’s routine and lifestyle. When you’re divorced or separated, this experience is even more acute. At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, we strive to minimize the impact of a move on your relationship with both your child and their other parent. We look for creative solutions that ensure your precious time with your child and help maintain as amicable a relationship with your ex-spouse as possible.
However, when necessary, we are aggressive advocates for our clients, and we use all of our tools and strategies to protect our clients’ child custody rights. When you work with us, we’ll spend time with you and get to know your priorities and goals — and then build a comprehensive plan that helps you move forward with your relocation. To learn more about our approach to parental relocation law, contact our office in Albany.
Consult with an Albany Parental Relocation Attorney
Every parental relocation case presents unique challenges, based not only on the needs of the parents and the children involved, but on the move that is going to take place. In all likelihood, the move will prompt a modification of your current custody and visitation plans.
We will listen carefully to your goals and give you realistic feedback. Our Albany parental relocation lawyers provide straightforward answers about your options and the potential outcomes of your case. We will work closely with you to create an acceptable child custody and visitation plan to go along with your move. For a consultation to discuss child custody and support issues when considering relocating, call us today or contact our office online.