I cannot overemphasize the need to use experienced legal counsel when getting a separation or divorce. Here is another example of someone trying to cut corners by preparing her own papers, and now is in a pickle. Had you used experienced counsel, the separation agreement would have dealt with this problem of being the residential parent and wanting to move to a different location. To answer your question correctly, I would have to investigate whether there are any relevant provisions in the separation agreement.
Until recently, the courts in New York have been very strict about allowing a residential parent to move away with the child and thus interfering with the ability of the non-custodial parent to relate to his or her child. Today the courts are somewhat more open to extenuating circumstances. The court ultimately judges those circumstances based on the criteria of whether it is in the best interests of the child to move, not on the best interests of the custodial parent to move. The answer to your question will ultimately rest with the decision of the judge and your ability to convince the judge that your move is, in fact, in the best interests of the child and that the non-custodial parent will be able to maintain a viable relationship with the child despite the move.
This issue could have been resolved had you used experienced legal counsel who would have discussed this matter with you before you signed the separation agreement or divorce papers.
Nevertheless, if you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating this matter with your spouse and trying to resolve this matter outside of the courtroom.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions