Generally, the courts will not listen to the child until the child is in his or her teenage years and exhibits maturity of thought and mind. The court is, however, interested in the best interests of the child.
You did not indicate whether you entered into a written Separation Agreement before your actual divorce. Generally, the custody arrangements include a paragraph which deals with moving out of state and which limits the move to some particular agreed-upon radius from the place where the parties are presently living. If you do have a Separation Agreement, please refer to it to see if such a provision exists.
The courts are reluctant to allow the residential parent to move away with the child because such a move would interfere with the visitation rights and the relationship of the child with the nonresidential parent, and the courts would like to see that relationship grow. Your Ex will have to provide the court with a compelling reason why it is in the best interests of your child to move to such a remote location away from you.
If you believe that the move is imminent, you must hire an attorney to make a motion to the court to restrain your Ex from moving outside of the state with your daughter. If she insists on moving, the court may very well decide to give you residential custody of your daughter.
If you’re living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you tried to mediate this matter with your Ex, and to that end, I suggest that you give me a call at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions