Whether you are equal co-parents according to the custody arrangements in your divorce or your spouse has primary custody but you have the right to reasonable and liberal visitation, having regular access to your children is a key component to being an active parent.

If your ex and your kids were to suddenly move across the state or even out of New York, that could seriously limit how much time you get to spend with your kids. When you think that your ex might try to leave the state, especially if they have previously threatened to take the kids far away to punish you, it’s only natural to worry about what might happen to your custody rights.

The good news is that New York protects the best interest of children by protecting their bond with both parents.

What happens if your ex wants to move?

When your ex starts a new relationship with someone from out-of-state or starts applying to new jobs for schools, you might start to worry that they will soon disappear and take your kids with them. However, even if they have primary custody, they will still have to go to the courts to request a modification that permits them to move a significant distance from you.

The courts are going to look at a number of factors, including their theoretical motivation for the move and its necessity. They want to approve a move only if it will be in the best interests of the children, and the benefits of the move diminish if it will impact your ability to have parenting time with the kids. If you don’t agree to the move, the courts are unlikely to quickly approve a long-distance relocation after a contentious New York custody battle.

If you can demonstrate that there are comparable schools or jobs available in New York or if you have proof that your ex threatened to relocate as a way of cutting you off from the kids, that could absolutely impact how the courts rule. They might give you more parenting time or just deny the request of your ex to move with the kids.

The right help will protect the relationship with your kids

Even after your divorce is done, you cannot take your relationship with your kids or your rights as a parent for granted. In all major court proceedings, including modification requests and relocation proceedings, you will likely want to have experienced legal help on your side to improve your chances of a favorable outcome.

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