Child custody disputes are among the most contentious issues anyone can face in family law. Navigating these issues is typically quite complex. The emotional aspects of this type of case can make it hard for parents to make entirely rational, informed, and practical decisions in their case proceedings. One issue that is very likely to generate disputes is relocation. When parents have a custody agreement, and one parent wants to relocate a significant distance, this can easily disrupt the standing custody agreement and demand formal legal review.
If you have a custody agreement with your co-parent and intend to relocate, or if your co-parent has notified you they intend to relocate, you need to know the best way to approach this type of situation. A Rochester, NY, child custody attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side no matter which end of the situation you find yourself.
The Trotto Law Firm, PC, understands the emotional strain that relocation can present to parents, and our goal is to help you approach your relocation dispute with confidence and peace of mind. Attorney Jonathan Trotto and his team believe in client-focused legal representation. This means we take time to get to know you and your situation to provide the best possible legal counsel.
Attempting to represent yourself in any family law case is incredibly difficult, and you face several serious risks. You could overlook critical details or make mistakes with court filings, leading to significant delays in the court’s handling of your case. When it comes to emotionally stressful situations such as relocation disputes, it can be easy for some parents to allow their emotions to overcome their decision-making, leading to rash actions that have unfortunate consequences.
Hiring the right Rochester, NY, child custody attorney to represent you in a relocation dispute significantly increases the chances of reaching the outcome you prefer. Legal counsel will also enable you to approach the situation with confidence and greater peace of mind. In addition, you will have reliable legal advice available when you need it, and your legal team can advise you on each stage of your relocation dispute.
If you are a custodial parent and have the opportunity to move to a new place, the situation may appear to provide significant benefits to your child, enabling them to enjoy a better lifestyle. However, if your co-parent also has custody or visitation rights, you cannot simply move away and take your child with you. Instead, you must complete a formal legal process to secure court approval to relocate with your child. If you attempt to move without completing this process or otherwise deny visitation rights to your co-parent, you face severe legal penalties, including the potential loss of your custody rights.
If you want to move and take your child with you, you must notify your co-parent of your intention to relocate and file a petition for modification of your custody agreement if the relocation will inherently change your co-parent’s custody or visitation rights in any way. If you are simply moving to a new home across town, there may not be any reason to petition for formal changes to your custody agreement, but you must still notify your co-parent. However, if you intend to move to a new state or any significant distance that would make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for your co-parent to exercise their custody rights, you should prepare for modification proceedings.
You must file a petition to modify your custody order with the Rochester, NY, family court. Your petition should include a complete and accurate description of your intended destination, the reason you are choosing to relocate, and the evidence you have showing that the relocation would suit the best interests of your child. The court will set a hearing date, and your co-parent will have the opportunity to respond.
The respondent to a petition for relocation approval in family court can feel isolated and incredibly distressed in this situation, especially when the other parent has greater custody rights.
When a parent wants to move from the metro area, they must petition for a relocation modification. In any relocation requests, the best interest standard is much higher. If your child’s other parent is looking to move, they must meet several relocation factors, including the effect on the child’s relationship to you. In such a petition, the court must also consider the economic, educational, and emotional benefit of the move on the child. If this parent tries to move with the child or just takes the child, then you petition the court to immediately intervene. These cases most often result in a trial.
Relocation disputes can go many ways. For example, the parent requesting a change to their custody order to allow them to relocate may not obtain the approval they expect. This may cause them to choose between retaining their custody rights and not going through with the relocation or moving and granting the co-parent greater custody rights that would allow the child to stay in their current location. Ultimately, it can be very difficult to predict how any relocation dispute will unfold, but the court’s primary focus will be on the child’s wellbeing.
Approaching any custody dispute can be very difficult without legal counsel you can trust. However, the right attorney can help with a relocation dispute in many ways. For example, if you intend to relocate and take your child with you, your Rochester, NY, child custody lawyer can help you gather evidence showing that the move would provide the child with a better life. Likewise, if you are fighting your co-parent’s petition to relocate, your attorney can help you build a case showing that the move would be detrimental to the child or that they would have a better standard of living by remaining with you as their custodial parent.
Ultimately, any relocation petition is likely to raise multiple complex issues. Resolving new custody terms may only be the first phase of this case. In addition, the parents may need to revisit their child support agreement and other elements of their standing family court order. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in this situation, and an experienced Rochester, NY, parental relocation lawyer can be an invaluable asset in this situation.
If you are ready to discuss relocation with a custody order on either side of the issue, we can help. Contact the Trotto Law Firm, PC, today for more information about the legal services we provide and schedule a consultation with our team.
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