Court Discusses Relocation in New York Child Custody Cases

People often relocate for job opportunities without issue. When a person who wishes to move to another state shares custody of a child, however, it can create complications. In evaluating a petition to relocate or any custody issue, the court’s main focus is on what is in the best interest of the child involved. As demonstrated in a recent New York opinion, what arrangement is most beneficial for a child can change over time. If you have questions regarding your rights as a parent, it is in your best interest to speak to a  New York child custody attorney promptly.

History of the Case

It is reported that the mother and the father were co-parents of a minor child. The father, who had sole custody of the child since 2016, filed a petition for relocation in 2021. The court appointed a forensic psychologist, who found recommended that the court deny the petition; his recommendation arose out of conversations with the minor child that occurred over a year prior to the hearing, however.

Allegedly, the court conducted a lengthy Lincoln hearing with the child, after which it determined that the child wished to relocate. Thus, the court found it to be in the child’s best interest to allow the father to relocate with the child to California. As such, it granted the father’s petition for relocation and established the mother’s parental access schedule with the child. The mother appealed.

Grounds for Reversing an Order Granting a Petition for Relocation

The court denied the mother’s appeal. In doing so, it noted that the mother neglected to preserve her argument that judicial bias deprived her of a fair trial. Further, there was no evidence of alleged bias unjustly affecting the outcome of the case, as there was a sound basis in the record supporting the court’s finding that relocation was in the best interest of the child.

Additionally, the court ruled that the mother did not establish the required extraordinary circumstances in support of her claim that the attorney for the child rendered ineffective assistance, as the record demonstrated he zealously participated in the proceedings. Finally, the court found that the trial court properly court denied the mother’s request for maintenance, equitable distribution, and counsel fees. The court agreed with the mother, though, that the provisions of the judgment of divorce pertaining to child support must be vacated and recalculated. The court found the remainder of the mother’s arguments unavailing.

Confer with a Skilled New York Child Custody Attorney

In New York child custody cases, the court’s primary concern is what is in the child’s best interest. In some instances, the courts determine that it will benefit a child mentally, emotionally, and physically, to leave New York and relocate with a parent to another state. If you are involved in a custody dispute, it is wise to confer with an attorney about what steps you can take to protect your interests. Ksenia Rudyuk is a skilled New York child custody attorney with the skills and experience needed to help you seek your desired outcome. You can reach Ms. Rudyuk through the form online or at 212-706-2001 to set up a meeting.

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