I have been divorced for eight years. I have an eight-year-old daughter who I see at least every other weekend. My ex-wife is thinking about moving. How far can she legally move from my residence .
To correctly answer your question, I need to know in what state you are located. In New York State, up until recently, the courts have been very reluctant to allow a custodial parent to take a child far away from the other parent. As of late, the courts have been much more receptive to such moves if the proposed relocation would “serve the child’s best interests.”
Ultimately, each relocation request must be considered on its own merits with due consideration of all the relevant facts and circumstances and with the predominant emphasis being placed on the best interests of the child.
Some of the criteria used by the courts in making their determination are: 1) each parent’s reasons seeking or opposing the move; 2) the good-faith of the parent in requesting or opposing the move; 3) the quality of the relationship between the child and the custodial and non-custodial parent; 4) the impact of the move on the quantity and quality of the child’s future contact with the non-custodial parent; 5) the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-custodial parent and child through suitable visitation arrangements; 6) the possibility of devising a visitation schedule that will enable the non-custodial parent to maintain a meaningful parent-child relationship; etc.
In summary, the courts have left the decision to the discretion of the judge. He will make his decision based on an overall feeling of what he determines to be in the best interest of the child.
If you are located in New York and wish to pursue this matter further, please call me at 212-370-1660.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions