Divorce Solutions

Question #5

My husband’s ex-wife wants to move out of state with his daughter. His son lives with us, but he still pays child support for both. If she takes his daughter to Florida, can he renegotiate child support for one child based on the FL calculations of support? She wants to put the child in a private school and wants him to pay when she can stay here and go to a great public school with us. Can she do this?

To answer your question accurately, I must know whether he entered into a Separation Agreement with his spouse in which child custody was discussed and whether it discusses the issue of moving outside of the state with the child. Assuming that they did not agree upon this matter, the Courts in New York generally do not allow the residential parent to move outside of the general area with the child because it interferes with the non-residential parent’s ability to have significant contact with the child. As of late, the Courts have been more receptive to a residential parent’s request to move outside of the general living area, but the reasons must be significant and in the best interests of the child. Your husband should have grounds to prevent his ex from moving outside of the state with his daughter, and this should give him some leverage in renegotiating his child support obligations for such a child in the event she does move to Florida. Certainly, he has a strong argument that if his ability to continue an ongoing relationship with his child is interfered with, his child support obligations should be reduced.

I suggest he try to resolve this matter amicably with his ex before running into court. Courts are also very reluctant to change child support orders. I would be glad to discuss mediating this matter with him and his wife. Please have him give me a call at 212-370-1660.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions