Saratoga Springs Relocation Lawyer
Sometimes a person needs to relocate after going through a divorce. A new job or relationship may lead one parent to consider moving their shared children out of the city or state despite a custody order being in place. A skilled family law attorney might be able to help you develop a new parenting plan or petition to modify an existing custody arrangement.
If a change in residence would alter a current custody or visitation arraignment, you may need a Saratoga Springs relocation lawyer. Family courts must analyze the best interest of the children in most cases involving child custody modifications.
Relocation Rights for Parents
Parents generally have the right to relocate, change homes, and even leave the country when both parties agree to it. However, once the court intervenes in child custody matters, co-parents lose these freedoms. Parents could face civil penalties for ignoring a visitation schedule if they move a child without first obtaining a modified custody order.
The state assumes fit and able parents should share legal and residential custody of their children equally. However, long-distance moves often require courts to deviate from this general standard. An attorney must argue that custodial relocation would substantially benefit children who are subject to a Saratoga Springs custody order.
Factors to Consider During Custodial Relocation Hearings
Parents have two main ways of reworking settled child custody agreements. First, they may work with legal professionals to negotiate a new parenting plan for court approval. Second, an attorney could file a petition to modify custody and visitation based on a significant change in circumstances like financial distress, a new job, remarriage, or a family emergency.
Courts may only alter custody if the children would benefit from the relocation. As such, judges must consider the following factors in determining the best interest of the child:
- The current residential and custodial arrangement including whether one parent provides primary care
- Each parent’s fitness, skills, and overall ability to parent a child
- Any allegations of domestic violence
- The child’s unique needs and wishes
- The parents’ ability to cooperate and communicate effectively
- The relationship, whether positive or negative, between the children and other household members, including siblings, grandparents, and parental partners
- The parents’ work schedules and proposed child care plans
Custodial relocation cases in Saratoga Springs often require a lawyer called a guardian ad litem for children to investigate the best interest factors and advocate for the kids during family proceedings. A guardian ad litem may work with legal counsel in another state or city to conduct home studies and interviews before preparing a best interest report.
Special Considerations in Parental Relocation Cases
When one parent has already relocated or the court approves a move, parties must typically abide by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, under New York Domestic Law, Article 5-A. This act prohibits parents from “forum shopping” to get a more favorable custody determination. Generally, only the original court has jurisdiction to modify a custody order.
Courts tend to hesitate in altering parenting plans if a change would upset the child’s schooling or otherwise deny an able parent their residential custody rights. However, judges may rearrange custody based on the school year or require a relocating parent pay visitation expenses. A Saratoga Springs lawyer should review the facts of any relocation case under the jurisdiction of the family court if the move may impact a current parenting plan.
Connect with a Compassionate Saratoga Springs Relocation Attorney
Some of the most challenging family cases arise when, due to location, two fit parents cannot equally share custody. However, not everyone can afford to live in New York or maintain the same household following separation or divorce.
Retain the services of a Saratoga Springs relocation lawyer if you or a co-parent has expressed a desire to make a long-distance move. Experienced custody modification attorneys could help you defeat a request to relocate your children, fight for your visitation rights, or help you negotiate a new parenting plan. Call now to learn what could be possible in your situation.