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Relocating to an Out-of-State Military Base with Children Post-Divorce

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Can a military spouse relocate outside the state with children from a previous marriage, against the ex-spouse’s wishes? A recent Appellate Division case from the Third Department answered this question in the affirmative. In Adams v. Robertson, a divorced mother petitioned the Court for permission to relocate with the parties’ child, in order to live with her new husband on the military base.


Subsequent to their divorce, the parties’ entered a custody agreement granting primary physical custody to the mother and alternate weekend parenting time to the father. However, one year after the agreement, Mother sought permission from the Court to move with new husband, a Marine Corporal, to his assigned military base in North Carolina, with the parties’ child.


In order to modify the existing custody order, mother had the burden of demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence that the move to North Carolina was in the child’s best interests.


The Court found that the out-of-state relocation was in the child’s best interests and granted the mother permission to move with the parties’ child. The record showed that move to North Carolina would afford the child with emotional and economic stability, as the mother would receive a housing allotment towards their residence in North Carolina. Moreover, the child would have access to education in military school and would be eligible to receive college tuition assistance through the mother’s husband’s military affiliation.


Although the child would derive several benefits from the proposed relocation, the Family Court wanted to ensure that the child maintained a functioning relationship with his father. Therefore, the Court expanded the father’s parenting time at his New York home during school breaks and summer vacation.


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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