A court can grant leave or permission to a person who has custody of a minor child to remove the minor child from the current jurisdiction to live in another jurisdiction. The determining factor on whether or not to allow removal is the best interest of the child standard. The party seeking the right to remove has the burden of showing that the removal is in the best interest of the minor child.
To temporarily remove a child from the jurisdiction, the party doing the removal shall inform the other parent or parent's attorney. The removing party shall also provide telephone contact information as well as a prospective date of return. If the removal is to another part of the same state, the custodial party is not required to seek court permission. There are several factors that are considered when determining the child's best interest and include: Will the move enhance the life of the child and of the custodial parent? Is the removal simply an effort to frustrate visitation with the non-custodial parent? What is the motive of the non-custodial parent in frustrating the removal? The court must consider the child's interest in having a healthy can close relationship with both parents as well as other family members. The visitation rights of the non-custodial parent must be considered.
Will visitation be realistic and feasible? A full consideration of the benefits that a child can derive from the financial and emotional well-being of a custodial parent is required. Courts may allow removal when the custodial parent remarries a person from another state. The child may benefit by having the custodial parent closer to the new spouse. A better job opportunity has also been used as grounds for removal. The increased earnings will allow for a better lifestyle for the child.
Currently, there has been a trend against removal. The emphasis seems to be placed more directly on the best interest of the child and less on the opportunity of the custodial parent. If the non-custodial parent has been highly involved in the child's life, removal would be very difficult to obtain and would provide a hardship to the entire family.
The conduct of the non-custodial parent is a major factor in whether or not to allow removal. If the non-custodial parent is absent from the child's life, the court will be more likely to grant the removal.
David M. Siegel is an attorney practicing divorce and family law. Additional information is available at http://www.divorce-lawyers-newyork.com .