Question #7: I live on Long Island. I have full custody of my daughter. Five years ago her father (we were never married) up and moved to CT without letting us or the court know. At first he didn’t see his daughter, but has been visiting with her regularly for the last 2 years. I wish to move to Maryland. Will I be able to move to Maryland? He decided to leave NY, does that mean I’m bound to stay here forever?

Generally, the courts do not favor the residential parent moving away from the nonresidential parent because it impairs the nonresidential parent’s ability to develop a relationship with the child. However, the court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child and if you can demonstrate that your moving to Maryland will be in the best interests of the child because you will be able to provide a more secure family environment, with a more secure financial situation, the judge may permit the move. The courts in New York have become more sensitive to these issues of late and recently have permitted such moves much more frequently.

I strongly suggest, however, that you consider mediating this matter with your spouse, and I would be happy to meet with both of you to see if we can resolve this issue without having to go to court. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions