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Mother Seeks to Relocate Child

An appeal involves a custodial action with the request of the mother to relocate her child with her. The parties were married but separated about a year and a half. Consequently, they filed a divorce and it was granted. The provision settling the case granted the mother legal and physical custody of the child. Moreover, the father had a visitation rights every week from Monday at 8:00 p.m. until Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. The provision allowed relocation within 25-miles from the father’s house in Bronx.

Based on records, the father had a history of irregular employment and is currently not employed. At the time of trial, the mother, who is remarried, cared for her younger child from her second marriage, full time.

After the parties separated, the mother remained in the marital apartment in the Bronx with the child for two years. Consequently, a New York Family Lawyer said she began working as a project administrator in the construction field. She moved with the child and her boyfriend to Connecticut. The mother testified that she always wanted her son to be in a suburban environment. She stated that she was trying to mirror her own childhood and further stated that she had a wonderful suburban upbringing. The mother’s relationship in Connecticut ended when her boyfriend returned to his country. The mother returned to New York with the child and moved into an apartment in Harlem.

The mother met her future husband, who was a retired from the air force and living in North Carolina. Consequently, the mother became engaged with him.

Soon after her engagement, the mother approached the father of the child about moving to California to live with her husband. The father was concerned about the distance and the stability of the mother’s new relationship. A New York Custody Lawyer said the parties therefore met with a mediator to try to work out an arrangement by which the mother could leave the child with the father temporarily while she settled in California. The mediator sent a letter that proposed to memorialize the parties’ agreement. The letter stated that the parties agreed that the child would stay with the father for a year, with the mother making several long weekend visits to New York. The mother and son were also to participate in a webcam phone call two to three times a week. The letter did not address where the child would live after a year. However, the father refused to sign an agreement embodying the terms and instead asked the mother to sign over the child custody to him. The mother however refused the request. The mother left and she claims that she never intended the father to have permanent custody, but arrangements to move to California had become irreversible by the time she learned that the father did not agree.

The father filed a petition seeking sole legal and physical custody of the child, claiming that the mother had abandoned the child. Evidently, as to the parties’ agreement, the mother filed a petition for relocation after year. The court consolidated the two petitions. Before the hearing, the father withdrew his petition for sole custody. For that reason, the court considered only the relocation application of the mother.

After eight months, a two-day hearing finally took place. The parties were the only witnesses presented. The court did not issue a decision until almost a year later, granting the mother’s relocation petition. Based on records, a Nassau County Family Lawyer said that during the time the parties were waiting for the court’s decision, the child continued to live with the father. After the court’s decision was issued, the child moved to California with his mother in compliance with the court’s order.

In providing the right decision on child custody matters, the court greatly considers the best interest of the child. If you’ve been troubled of your child’s custody or visitation rights, you can ask the help of the NYC Child Custody Attorneys or New York City Visitation Lawyer.

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