Divorce Solutions

Question #20

Hi, my husband and I have been married for ten years in New York state. About eight years ago, my stepdaughter’s mother dropped my stepdaughter off for visitation and never returned. We tried to force her to be active in her life by taking her to court. She asked the judge if she could give up her rights, and he denied it. Child support has been deducting money directly out of her paycheck, but she still has not made any contact with her other than that. In the custody papers, it says joint custody with my husband as her primary caretaker. We have an excellent opportunity to move to Kentucky for my husband’s job transfer. My stepdaughter is now 16 years old and wants to go with us. If her mother does find out, can she take legal action? She has had no contact in 8 years. Can a 16-year old make that decision? We don’t want to go to court and open a can of worms and have her fight it, just for the sake of giving us a hard time. Thanks for your time

You cannot just take off without getting an order from the court.
However, since the mother has not had any meaningful relationship with the child for so
Long, you should have a pretty good chance of convincing the court that it would be in the best interests of the child to move

So that her father can provide her and the family with a better life. Be prepared to show that the school system where you intend to move is
Superior to the present school she is attending and that she will have lots of friends.

The key to convincing the court is “the child’s best interest” and the failure of the mother to carry on a meaningful relationship.


Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions