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Can I stop my ex from moving away with our kids?

Maintaining a meaningful and stable relationship with your children after you get divorced can be very difficult for parents. This is particularly true if your ex wants to move away with your children.

However, before you assume that you are going to lose your children, you need to understand that in accordance with New York laws, a parent who shares custody of their children cannot take the kids and move without permission from the other parent and/or the courts.

A parent will need to file a petition with the courts prior to moving away if the relocation would affect someone else’s parental rights if he or she does not consent to custody modification. If a parent fails to do this, he or she risks losing custody and possibly even criminal charges.

Factors courts consider when reviewing a petition

After a petition is filed, the courts consider a number of factors before approving or denying a relocation request. The most important factor is whether the move is in the best interests of the child. There is no exact formula for determining this. As noted in this legal article, courts will examine a number of elements unique to each case and then make a decision on whether relocation is warranted.

Making your case to prevent your kids from moving away

In order to stop relocation, you will need to show the courts that the move is detrimental to your parental rights and your child’s best interests. Explain the negative impact it will have on your rights to have access to your child; show how much time and energy you currently put into maintaining a meaningful relationship with your child; make it clear that you would accept custody of your child if the other parent still wanted to move away.

Don’t fight this battle alone

There is a lot on the line when it comes to relocation requests in New York. If you want to stop the other parent of your child from moving away for whatever reason, you will need to be aggressive in your legal efforts. You would be wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible to begin examining your options and the steps you need to take to protect your parental rights and relationship with your child.