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Moving Out-of-State with Your Children after a Divorce

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Are you considering relocating with your children post-divorce? A recent Second Department ruling may make this more difficult. In Gravel v. Makrianes, a case decided in late August, the court denied a mother’s request to move to a different state with her two children.

Ten years after her divorce from her ex-husband, Anne Gravel, brought a petition to move from New York to Michigan with her two children. Her ex-husband opposed the move and made a motion with the court to dismiss the petition. The Family Court denied the relocation and the mother appealed.

In determining whether relocation is appropriate, the Appellate Court stated, “Each request must be considered on its own merits with due consideration of all the relevant facts and circumstances and with predominant emphasis being placed on what outcome is most likely to serve the best interests of the child.” Put simply, a court does not apply a general rule in whether post-divorce relocations are permitted. Instead, the court looks at the specific facts and family history and decides whether it is in the child’s best interest to allow a move.

In the case at hand, the court noted that the father had been very involved in the children’s lives, even after the divorce.  Additionally, by allowing the children to remain in New York, they would be able to stay in the same school district and maintain the friendships and relationships with their community, which had been formed over the past ten years. Taking all this into consideration, the court held that the proposed relocation would have a negative impact on the children’s relationship with their father and would not be in the best interests of the child. Thus, Ms. Gravel’s relocation petition was denied.

Are you a divorced parent considering relocation with your children? Alternatively, is your ex-spouse trying to move with your children? Every client should be informed of their parental rights and responsibilities regarding their children. If you have specific questions regarding your divorce judgment or custody agreement, want to ensure that you take the necessary time to properly address all of your issues and concerns, and would like to speak to a respected and experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney, contact the offices of Jay D. Raxenberg. Call (516) 491-0565 or toll free at (888) 543-4867.

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