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Court Rules on Visitation Issue When Parent Moves Out of State


Michael Reed and Judy Mast were married. While they were married, they had a son, Jason. About four year into the marriage, the two had problems with their marriage and got a divorce. Mrs. Mast and Jason moved to a different location, same State. Mr. Reed moved to a different city for a new business. After a year, more or less, of regular visitation with his son, his visits became infrequent and even his child support had lowered because of difficulties in his business. Mr. Reed and Mrs. Mast had agreed that Jason would stay with his mother primarily, as long as they do not move the child to a different State permanently without a court’s approval. This was done before Mr. Reed moved to a Madison. A year later, the court’s final judgment had included this provision, said a Brooklyn Custody Lawyer.

About five months after the final judgment was the time Mrs. Mast got married to her current husband James Mast. Mr. Reed remarried around three months after. Mr. Mast joined the army and was stationed in North Carolina. He did this because of financial reasons. Mrs. Mast petitioned the court a little more than a year after her marriage to move to North Carolina to be with her husband and new child. She did move to North Carolina even before the decision, but she returned to Florida every other weekend with Jason so that Mr. Reed could have his time with him, which he never missed.

Mr. Reed argued that Mrs. Mast had permanently moved the child out of the State, that the move will hamper his relationship with his son, and he is capable of providing guidance. About eight months after the initial petition, the decision was granted in favor of Mr. Reed, and the primary residence was given to him. According to the records found by a Long Island Visitation Lawyer, this was appealed by Mrs. Mast.

In the determination by the Court of Appeals, they looked at the move of the mother as well as how the move would interfere with the contact Mr. Reed would have with his son. First, the court said that for a military person to be assigned in a different State is not permanent. They maintain their residency in the State which they initially lived in and registered. For Mrs. Mast this showed that she did not permanently move to North Carolina, so the primary residence of her son should still be with her. The second contention as to the hampering of the father’s relationship, they said that for the eight months that the initial case ran, Mrs. Mast was able to make sure Jason was available to his father on the scheduled visits. This is contrary to what Mr. Reed showed when his business got problems. The court reversed the decision and placed the child back with Mrs. Mast.

There are certain agreements that can move a child in the care of one parent to the other. They also know that it is the best interest of the child that should be the primary concern. If this has already been met, then the protection of the rights of each parent is the one to look at and make sure that is done. Contact our office if you need assistance with a custody or visitation concern, or require an order of protection to ensure that your rights, and the rights of your child are protected.

If your child is to be taken away from you because of a provision or agreement that you made with the father or mother, you still have options on how to keep the child with you without harming their well-being. Stephen Bilkis and Associates have experienced legal counsel who can give you the options for the protection of your rights and the rights of your children. We are at Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan, in New York. In Long Island, our offices are at Suffolk County and Nassau County, and Westchester County. For legal guidance and a free consultation, call us today at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW.

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