Child Relocation by Custodial Parent

Borrelli , Gebhardt, Donelli & Pennessi, - McCarthy Fingar Matrimonial Lawyers

The McCarthy Fingar Team

The experienced lawyers in our Matrimonial & Family Law group understand that custody of minor children is sometimes an issue that continues after the parents obtain their divorce and have reached agreement on visitation issues. Sometimes, the custodial parent seeks to change his or her location, and the noncustodial parent cries foul and seeks to prevent or oppose that relocation. The leading case in this area is the New York Court of Appeals’ ruling in Tropea, a case, handled by McCarthy Fingar partner Kathleen Donelli, that established the prevailing law in New York on child relocation.

What is Child Relocation?

A court decree on child custody decision is open until the child reaches the age of majority. Frequently, the custodial parent desires or is required to move, and the existing custody decree of the court does not include language that governs a travel restriction on the parties’ ability to move the child beyond a specified geographical limit. As a result, an application in court is often required before the custodial parent relocates with the child.

The McCarthy Fingar Approach in Child Relocation Cases

Child relocation cases turn upon the Court’s evaluation of the “best interest” of the child. Whatever the circumstances of a child relocation dispute, the lawyers in our Matrimonial & Family Law group will bring their many years of experience to develop a strategy on how the matter should go forward.

Cases Brought by Other Attorneys Decided by New York’s Intermediate Appellate Courts after the Court of Appeals’ decision in Tropea.

(updated through 91 A.D.3d 1046) 

Appellate Division Department Year Case Name Granted or Denied Specific Location Case Summary
Third 2012 Adams v. Bracci, 91 A.D.3d 1046, 2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 00143 Granted Orange County, NY to Philadelphia

Father awarded sole custody and permitted to relocate where relocation was due to his employment with the Marines, employment was stable and offered health insurance for the family, he worded regular daytime hours and has a stable living environment with his wife and their two children. Mother has no source of income.  Additionally, Father was two hours away from mother prior to relocation and approximately five hours away after relocation. While drive was longer, it did not affect mother’s ability to exercise visitation which had been one weekend per month and second optional weekend per month in addition to summer and holiday visits. 

Second 2011 Cadet v. Lamour, 86 A.D.3d 538, 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 05806 Denied Brooklyn, NY to Newburgh, NY

The evidence presented at the hearing established, among other things, that the mother interfered with the father’s visitation rights and failed to inform the father of important matters regarding the child, such as her proposed impending relocation with the child to Newburgh and her unilateral decisions regarding the child’s schooling.

First 2011 Alaire K.G. v. Anthony P.G, 86 A.D.3d 216, 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 04538 Granted NY to CA

The California home is financially more stable than the father’s home. The stepfather has a
steady job that provides his family with health insurance. By contrast, the father is not currently working. Further, living in San Diego ensures that the child will grow up in the same house as his half brother. The mother established that the child would have access to an education that was just as good as, if not better than, his school in New York. Moreover, the child will be able to attend college within the State of California’s university system free of charge. The mother went out of her way to facilitate communication between the child and his father. Finally, the child’s own attorney recommended that the court permit the mother to relocate with the child.

Second 2010 Jave v. Danial, 70 A.D.3d 696; 2010 NY Slip Op 00854 Denied NY to MD

Mother failed to demonstrate by preponderance of evidence that relocation was in the child’s best interests. Father awarded unsupervised visitation.

Second 2010 Messler v. Simovic, 73 A.D.3d 1180 Denied NY to NC

Mother intended to live with maternal grandmother who would care for the child while the mother attended college. Relocation was not in the child’s best interest to remove him from the only area he had ever known where he was thriving academically and socially and where the relocation would qualitatively affect his relationship with his father, who visits with him on alternate weekends and twice a month mid-week for three hours.

Second 2010 Rubio v. Rubio, 2010 NY Slip OP 02121; 71 A.D.3d 862 Denied NY to NC

The mother’s proposed employment in NC was tenuous at best, the father’s visitation with the child would be dramatically reduced by the relocation, and the mother failed to demonstrate by a preponderance of evidence that the relocation would enhance child’s life economically, emotionally and educationally.

Third 2009 Ostrander v. McCain, 68 A.D.3d 1480 Denied Broome County to Monroe County

Mother sought relocation so that she could live rent-free in Fairport in a three-bedroom home owned by her stepmother. She remained employed by the same employer and earned the same hourly wage as she had while living in Broome County. The father has always been very active in the child’s upbringing, and enjoyed extensive parenting time with the child under the parties’ informal arrangement and pursuant to the temporary order of custody. Most of the child’s extended family (all of the father’s and much of the mother’s) reside in Broome County, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, with whom the child has regular contact. The three-hour car ride to drop the child with the father was very burdensome on the child. In addition, since the father lacks a reliable vehicle and the mother does not own a car, the ability to facilitate regular and meaningful visitation with the father is bound to be fraught with difficulties. The schedule would almost certainly interfere with the ability to place the child in a preschool program.

Second 2009 Lee v. Morgan, 67 A.D.3d 681, 889 N.Y.S.2d 205 Denied NY to CT

Family Court granted the mother’s petition to modify an order so as to allow her to relocate with the child upon the father’s failure to appear on the return date of the petition. The father established a reasonable excuse for his default based on his reasonable belief that the matter would be adjourned and established a meritorious defense to the mother’s petition to modify the prior order allowing her to relocate with the child.

Third 2009 Brian JJ v. Heather KK, 61 A.D.3d 1285, 878 N.Y.S.2d 482 Granted Tompkins County to Chemung County

Mother and her sister had joint legal custody. Father and his parents had visitation. Father filed petition and paternal grandparents sought temporary custody while father was completing an inpatient alcohol abuse treatment program. Family Court dismissed grandparents motion for lack of standing. Mother was providing an appropriate home for the child, and had availed herself of services, including mental health counseling, alcohol treatment and parenting classes, as to overcome past problems. Despite the father’s and grandparent’s numerous calls to child abuse hotlines in an attempt to document mother’s alleged abuse, all injuries were determined normal for a toddler and hotline reports were deemed unfounded.

Fourth 2009 Linn v. Wilson, 68 A.D.3d 1767 Granted NY to Alabama

The mother has been the primary caretaker of the child since his birth and the father has not consistently exercised the visitation to which he was entitled under the prior order. The court found the testimony of the father concerning his actual time spent with the child to be “vague and evasive.”

Second 2009 Garcia v. Becerra, 68 A.D.3d 864 Granted NY to FL

No facts.

Third 2009 McGovern v. McGovern, 58 A.D.3d 911, Case No. 504085, 2009 NY Slip Op 76 Remitted NY to Alabama

Mother lived in Alabama with her fiancé. Father lived in Saratoga County. After a trial in January 2006, Family Court denied the mother’s request to relocate with the son from NY to NC, where she and the son were then living. Father was awarded custody unless the mother returned to Saratoga County; the son returned living with the father in July 2006. Mother then moved to modify the custody order, resulting in a stipulated order of custody providing for joint custody. Thereafter, the mother filed a petition to modify the custody order, seeking physical custody of the son during the school year. She alleged that the father undermined her parenting role by denigrating her to the son and that the father refused to treat the son’s attention disorder resulting in him failing several subjects. In a hearing conducted in September and November 2007, the Law Guardian argued that while the son loved his dad, his emotional and physical needs were not being met and that he desperately wanted to resume living with his mother. The son feared the father’s seizure disorder. Also, the father disparaged the mother by telling the son that the mother would move back to NY if she loved him. Court remitted to the family court to determine if it was in the son’s best interest to permit his relocation to live with his mother in Alabama.

Second 2009 Arroyo v. Thompson, 63 A.D.3d 921 Denied NY to Ohio

No facts.

Second 2009 Sylvain v. Paul, 68 A.D.3d 883 Denied NY to FL

The mother’s claims that the schools in Florida were better than those in New York and that she had a greater possibility of gaining employment in Florida were not substantiated by any evidence in the record. Contrary to the mother’s contention, her desire to move to Florida to live with her new husband, who resided in Florida where he was employed as a truck driver. Child had a strong loving relationship with father and extended family.

Third 2009 Malcolm v. Jurow-Malcolm, 63 A.D.3d 1254 Granted Schenectady County to Suffolk County

Mother was primary care-giver but could not find suitable housing in Schenectady; court permitted mother and children to relocate in order to live with the children’s maternal grandparents in Suffolk.

“Strict application of the factors set forth in Tropea is not required because this matter involves an initial custody determination”

Fourth 2009 Harrington v. Harrington, 63 A.D.3d 1618 Granted NY to Troy

Mother was gainfully employed in Troy. Father engaged in acts constituting crimes of disorderly conduct and attempted assault.

Second 2009 Mathie v. Mathie, 62 A.D.3d 968, 880 N.Y.S.2d 120 Granted NY to NJ

Mother wanted to move to live with her new husband and his family in NJ. Based upon the evidence and the forensic psychiatrist’s report, both the plaintiff and the defendant share equally strong relationships with their son. As evidenced by the forensic psychiatrist’s report, the child favors the move to NJ as long as he continues to spend the same amount of time with the father. A visitation schedule could be devised that would allow for the continuation of a meaningful relationship with the Father.

Third 2009 Winston v. Gates, 64 A.D.3d 815 Granted NY to Florida

Parties consented in 2002 to joint legal custody with mother having primary residence and father with scheduled visitation. In 2007, mother seeks modification and permission to allow her to move with parties’ child to Florida. Mother has been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and was unable to continue working, which forced her to reside with former boyfriend with whom she and child moved frequently. Mother’s parents offered to allow her and child to reside with them indefinitely in Florida, and are able to provide for their basic living expenses. Although mother’s inability to provide for child and father’s stability warrants best interest analysis, denial of father’s modification petition was in child’s best interests. Mother has been child’s primary caregiver most of child’s life and, unlike father, was familiar with child’s medical diagnosis of attention deficit disorder and special educational needs. Mother’s father, child’s grandfather, testified that mother and child would be able to reside with him and his wife at no cost as long as necessary. Although father determined to be fit parent, preponderance of evidence exists to support determination that relocation to Florida was in child’s best interests.

Second 2009 McMahon v. McMahon, 62 A.D.3d 968, 880 N.Y.S.2d 120 Denied Not Stated

Parties stipulation provided that the mother could relocate within 90 miles radius of the marital residence. Mother seeks permission to relocate. Court held that the stipulation is not dispositive but rather one of several factors to consider in determining whether relocation is in children’s best interest.

Third 2009 Solomon v. Long, 68 A.D.3d 1467 Denied Chemung County, NY to Monroe County, NY

The impetus for the relocation was the mother’s pending marriage to her then-fiancé. Despite the following facts, relocation would not serve the child’s best interests. The mother has been the child’s primary caregiver since his birth, when she was only 18 years old. The mother has maintained steady employment, put herself through nursing school and, at the time of the petition, commuted and worked as a registered nurse at a hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania. Her fiancé runs a family-owned, Internet-based business. He was previously married, has no children, owns his own home and enjoys a good relationship with the parties’ son. By the time of trial, the mother had accepted a nursing position with a hospital in Monroe County which provided a modest increase in pay and free tuition benefits. After five years at that hospital, she would receive a 50% tuition reduction at the university for the parties’ son. The mother also testified that the new position would require only three 12-hour shifts per week, in contrast to the 40 to 50 hours per week she works in Pennsylvania, allowing her to spend more time with the child. The mother valued the child’s relationship with his father and was willing to continue to be flexible and generous with visitation. She also offered to forgo child support and help defray the increased transportation costs associated with visitation if the petition were granted. The mother has shown great flexibility and cooperation in fostering the child’s relationship with his father and his father’s extended family, all of which, to date, appear to have greatly benefitted the child. The Law Guardian stated that the child expressed a strong desire to remain neutral on the petition.

Second 2009 Martino v. Ramos, 64 A.D.3d 657 Denied NY to South Carolina

Mother sought permission to relocate with parties’ child from NY to South Carolina. Father exercised visitation almost every weekend since parties’ separation and remained active in child’s life. Although mother showed that relocation to South Carolina would decrease her housing costs, this did not support uprooting child from only area he has ever known, where he is thriving academically and socially and where relocation would affect his relationship with father. Mother failed to demonstrate by preponderance of evidence that proposed relocation was in child’s best interests.

Second 2009 Dickerson v. Robenstein, 68 A.D.3d 1179, 889 N.Y.S.2d 319 Denied NY to CT

Mother’s husband was in the military and was only temporarily stationed in Connecticut, which created the possibility of another relocation in the future. The father, however, maintained his residence in the Capital District his entire life. His proximity to the child’s extended families also weighed in his favor, especially considering his demonstrated willingness to support and encourage the child’s relationship with the mother’s relatives. Although the mother cited her desire to promote a relationship between the child and his half sibling as one reason for seeking the relocation, she offered no evidence that such relocation was necessary to accomplish this goal, or that the relocation was otherwise necessary to enhance the child’s economic, emotional or educational welfare.

Fourth 2009 Seyler v. Hasfurter, 61 A.D.3d 1437, 877 N.Y.S.2d 722 Denied NY to Texas

Mother failed to establish that the lives of the mother and the child “may be enhanced economically, emotionally and educationally [to any degree] by the move.” Mother also failed to establish that the child’s relationship with petitioner father would be preserved despite the proposed relocation.

Second 2009 Impastato v. Impastato, 62 A.D.3d 752 Denied NY to Texas

Relocation would have a negative impact on the father’s relationship with children.

Second 2009 Said v. Said, 61 A.D.3d 879, 878 N.Y.S.2d 384 Granted NY to PA

Mother seeks permission to relocate. Although Family Court expressed concern that mother’s fiancé would continue to undermine father’s relationship with the children, evidence demonstrated that the mother and fiancé fostered relationship between children and father. Also, given the children’s ages, maturity, and preference to live with mother, although not controlling, is entitled to significant weight.

Second 2008 Bonnilla v. McCuen, 51 A.D.3d 915 Granted NY to North Carolina

No facts; relocation was in the children’s best interest.

Third 2008 Cruz v. Cruz, 55 A.D.3d 992 Denied Broome County to New York City

Mother claimed that she needed to move closer to a hospital because her child suffered from cerebral palsy, but court held that the child is adequately cared for in Broome County despite the need to travel to Syracuse from time to time.

Fourth 2008 Pamela H. Cordell W., Jr., 43 A.D.3d 1319 Granted NY to out-of-state

Tropea factors were considered; petitioner was primary caretaker and living conditions in Rochester were unsafe due to respondent’s failure to satisfy his child support obligations.

First 2008 Jenifer W. v. Johnathan L., 55 A.D.3d 340 Granted NY to NJ

No facts; Children’s best interests were properly considered.

Second 2008 Bruno v. Bruno, 47 A.D.3d 606 Granted NY to Florida

Relocation permitted where mother demonstrated that move would enhance child’s life economically, socially and educationally.

Second 2008 Scannevin v. Scannevin, 51 A.D.3d 901 Denied NY to Main

Evidence failed to show that relocation was in children’s best interests.

First 2008 David J.B. v. Monique H., 52 A.D.3d 414 Granted NY to Florida

No facts; It was in the children’s best interest to permit mother to remain in Florida with children.

Fourth 2008 Parish A. v. Jamie T., 49 A.D.3d 1322 Granted NY to North Carolina

Children’s relationship could be preserved despite relocation, through telephone, e-mail and visitation during summer and school vacations; matter remitted to determine appropriate transfer date and visitation schedule.

Second 2008 Grasso v. Grasso, 51 A.D.3d 920 Granted NY to Connecticut

No facts; relocation was in the children’s best interest. Modification of visitation schedule allowed continuation of meaningful relationship between father and children.

Third 2008 Hills v. Madrid, 57 A.D.3d 1175 Granted Delaware County to City of Rochester

Mother moved when a flood destroyed her rented home and rendered it uninhabitable. Mother’s relocation improved the financial, emotional and educational well-being of child.

Third 2008 Brown v. Brown, 52 A.D.3d 903 Denied NY to Illinois

Remitted, Family Court erred in not determining whether proposed move was in children’s best interests. Family Court did not speak to children about move and law guardian advanced position that it was not in children’s best interest.

Second 2008 Friedman v. Rome, 46 A.D.3d 682 Denied NY to California

Mother’s reason to move – to meet the demands of her second marriage – did not justify uprooting children from NY where they are thriving academically and socially and father was involved in children’s lives.

Second 2008 Wirth v. Wirth, 56 A.D.3d 787 Granted NY to Florida

Economic necessity justified move to Florida.  The mother demonstrated that, even if she were to obtain full-time employment at a salary commensurate with her prior employment, she could not afford both an apartment and daycare on Long Island, where the father resides.

Second 2008 Noble v. Noble, 52 A.D.3d 490 Granted Long Island to upstate NY

Proposed move was in the children’s best interest because it would provide economic, emotional and educational benefits for mother and children.

Fourth 2008 Scialdo v. Cook, 53 A.D.3d 1090 Granted NY to Florida

Supreme Court properly granted mother’s relocation petition where child has a continuous relationship with maternal aunt and cousins who reside in Florida and relocation will enhance financial situation for mother and child.

Second 2008 Etienne v. Sylvain, 47 A.D.3d 930 Granted NY to France

Relocation to France was in children’s best interests and visitation schedule permits father to have meaningful relationship with parties’ children.

Second 2008 Cooke v. Alaimo, 44 A.D.3d 655 Granted NY to Florida

No facts; move was in child’s best interest and allowed for continuation of meaningful relationship between father and child.

Third 2008 Bobroff v. Farwell, 57 A.D.3d 1284 Granted Horseheads to Corning (12 miles apart)

Father remarried and sought to live with his new wife at her home in Corning. A consolidation of homestead expenses is economically beneficial to children and children had a good relationship with step-mother.

Second 2008 Giraldo v. Gomez, 51 A.D.3d 901 Denied NY to Florida

Although the Family Court considered the mother’s allegations of domestic violence, the court properly determined that it was not in the child’s best interest to relocate.

Fourth 2008 Dukes v. McPherson, 50 A.D.3d 1529 Denied NY to Maryland

Party seeking to relocate must demonstrate by preponderance of evidence that proposed relation is in the child’s best interest.

First 2008 Helen H. v. Christopher T., 47 A.D.3d 590 Denied NY to Australia

Mother’s financial circumstances and immigration status were not so exigent as to require her immediate relocation to Australia. Such a move would cause irreparable harm to the father’s relationship with child.

Second 2007 Fegadel v. Anderson, 40 A.D.3d 1091 Granted NY to Florida

Where child has an emotional bond with her sister, who also lives in Florida, and mother cited health and economic reasons for relocation, it was in child’s best interest to move.

Third 2007 Lim v. Lyi, 40 A.D.3d 1190 Denied NY (Ithaca) to Newton, Massachusetts

The child will maintain stability by keeping the same pediatrician, friends, church, school, activities and day care center.

Third 2007 Gutiy v. Gutiy, 40 A.D.3d 1155 Granted NY to NJ

Where father repeatedly made disparaging comments about the mother in front of the children, and mother had a network of family members in NJ and located employment move was in children’s best interest.

Fourth 2007 Cynthia L.C. v. James L.S., 30 A.D.3d 1085 Granted NY to Florida

Relocation was in child’s best interest where there was an economic necessity for the move and father did not have a close involvement in child’s life.

Second 2007 Wisloh-Silverman v. Dono, 39 A.D.3d 555 Granted NY to Pennsylvania

Move to Poconos would enhance child’s life economically, emotionally and educationally.  Relationship with noncustodial parent could be preserved through visitation arrangements.

First 2007 Ritz v. Ritz, 36 A.D.3d 437 Denied NY to Israel

Move to Israel would prevent father from having a normal relationship with his children. Telephone, video hookups and occasional summer visitations would not be a substitute for regular, face-to-face contact between father and children. No substantial benefits from the move.

Third 2007 Winn v. Cutting, 39 A.D.3d 1000 Granted NY to Pennsylvania

Permitted to relocate where mother had an offer of full-time, better paying job in Pennsylvania and relocation would benefit child.

Second 2007 Ganzenmuller v. Rivera, 40 A.D.3d 756 Denied NY to NJ

No facts; mother failed to establish that move would serve child’s best interests.

First 2007 Yolanda R. v. Eugene I.G., 38 A.D.3d 288 Remand NY to Atlanta

Remand; family court didn’t provide enough information for court to determine whether relocation was in child’s best interests – family court failed to interview children despite law guardian advising court that children desired to be in Atlanta with mother.

Second 2006 Coulter v. Scales, 20 A.D.3d 475, 797 N.Y.S.2d 772 Granted NY to Florida

Child’s desires are not determinative; no facts.

Fourth 2006 Jones v. Tarnawa, 26 A.D.3d 870 Denied NY to Indiana

New marriage, standing alone, is insufficient to warrant relocation.

Second 2006 Tornheim v. Tornheim, 28 A.D.3d 535 Granted NY to Florida

No facts; sound basis for the trial court’s determination

Second 2006 Schreurs v. Johnson, 27 A.D.3d 654 Granted NY to Florida

Father’s job relocated by his employer to a location in FL near maternal grandmother’s home, with $20,000 raise. Father offered to pay mother’s expenses to visit child on alternate weekends. Mother also traveled to FL regularly to see her psychiatrist.

Second 2006 Zammit v. Novellino, 30 A.D.3d 534 Denied NY to North Carolina

Father did not have a better job or housing awaiting him in North Carolina, nor did he have a large extended family network to assist him there as he did in NY; therefore, not in child’s best interests.

Second 2006 Brzozowski v. Brzozowski, 30 A.D.3d 517 Denied Nassau County to Westport, Connecticut

No facts; sound and substantial basis for the trial court’s determination.

Second 2006 Treadwell v. Treadwell, 32 A.D.3d 522 Granted NY to North Carolina

No Facts: family court properly determined that it was in the children’s best interest to relocate.

Third 2006 Armstrong v. Crout, 33 A.D.3d 1079 Granted NY to Texas

While living with father in NY, the children changed schools and homes four times, lost touch with their paternal grandparents and did not receive sufficient attention from their father; therefore, it was in the children’s best interests to relocate to live with mother in Texas.

Third 2005 Norwood v. Capone, 15 A.D.3d 790 Granted New York to Kentucky

Children had special needs; Mother provided more supportive environment; Father sometimes abusive of one son.

Third 2005 Dunaway v. Espinoza, 23 A.D.3d 928 Denied NY to Las Vegas

Mother only had vague plans for employment and would be living with relatives who had past criminal records.

Second 2005 Vega v. Pollack, 21 A.D. 3d 495 Granted NY to Virginia

Loving relationship with Father and family in NY, but Mother remarried, has step-children, and able to provide a comfortable standard of living; new husband has bonded with child; child expressed preference for VA; court acknowledged that Father’s visitation would suffer.

Second 2005 Tabernuro v. Jones, 23 A.D.3d 667 Granted NY to Florida

Where father committed second degree harassment against the mother, it was in the best interest of child to relocate.

Second 2005 Ish-Shalom v. Whittman, 19 A.D.3d 493, 797 N.Y.S.2d 111 Granted NY to Florida

The Family Court and the Appellate Division were concerned about the immigration status of the mother, a German national who entered this country on a visitor’s visa.  The father and a court-appointed psychologist expressed concern that the mother would return with the children to Germany, where she is licensed to practice medicine. The mother has already removed the children from New York to Florida, in direct contravention of a direction by the Family Court.

Third 2005 Smith v. Hoover, 24 A.D.3d 1096 Denied NY to North Carolina

Relocation permitted where petitioner would make a substantially higher salary in N.C. and have more opportunities for advancement.

Second 2005 Henderson v. Henderson, 20 A.D.3d 421, 798 N.Y.S.2d 128 Granted NY to Virginia

Needed revised visitation schedule and transportation costs to be equally split.

Third 2005 Groover v. Potter, 17 A.D.3d 718 Denied NY to Florida

Mother had abusive new husband; no employment prospects and husband took lower-paying job; home in Fl would be crowded; Father had bigger home, more finances.

Third 2005 Leach v. Santiago, 20 A.D.3d 715, 798 N.Y.S.2d 242 Denied Albany, NY to Staten Island, NY

Parties never married; motivation for move was to be with new fiancé; no proof that job opportunities were better; communication bad now, won’t improve with move.

Fourth 2005 Petroski v. Petroski, 24 A.D.3d 1295 Denied NY to 25 miles from father’s residence

Mother failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the proposed relocation would be in the best interests of the children.

Third 2005 Mehaffy v. Mehaffy, 23 A.D.3d 935 Denied St. Lawrence County to Oswego County

Where father merely asserted unspecified construction work he had “lined up” at new location and failed to investigate the quality of schools, relocation denied.

Second 2004 Adlerstein v Adlerstein, 5 A.D.3d 616 Granted Queens, NY to Toronto, Canada

Mother and son were living in Toronto and permitted to remain there until son finished term of high school, provided Father could visit.

Second 2004 David v. Dancy, 5 A.D.3d 768 Granted NY to Florida

No facts.

Fourth 2004 Prather v. Prather, 295 A.D.2d 1022 Granted NY to Germany

No facts; relocation to Germany was properly granted.

Second 2004 Holden v. Cardozo, 8 A.D.3d 567 Denied New York to Massachusetts

Lower ct. ordered Mother to return child within 30 days to 35 miles from Suffolk County; pattern of attempts to remove Father from child’s life.

First (Supreme Court, Queens) 2004 Vasquez v. Vasquez, 4 Misc. 3d 1005(A), 791 N.Y.S.2d 874 Granted NY to Pennsylvania

Stipulation agreed to 35 miles; Father reluctant to visit; Mother moved children 100 miles away; family there; better home life conditions.

Third 2004 Paul v. Pagnillo, 13 A.D.3d 971 Denied New York to Mississippi

Economic enhancement was speculative; no knowledge of Mississippi schools; stability was more important.

Second 2004 Campbell v. Campbell, 12 A.D.3d 669 Denied NY to Georgia

Mother moved to GA with children; custody determination was conditioned on move back to NY; Father lives in NY; 13 yr old grew up in NY.

Second 2004 Aziz v. Aziz, 8 A.D.3d 596 Granted NY to Texas

Relocation permitted due to extensive support network (Mother’s family), Mother would live with Grandmother, would be economic improvements, and educational benefits.

Fourth 2004 Stone v. Wyant, 8 A.D.3d 1046 Granted NY to Florida

Compelling reason for move is not necessary; economic necessity is persuasive; Mother demonstrated such economic necessity; matter remitted.

Second 2004 Picot v. Barrett, 8 A.D.3d 288 Denied New York to Georgia

Law Guaridan and psychologist recommended that Mother have sole custody; Father’s visits limited to NY.

Second 2004 In re Elizabeth A., 13 A.D.3d 615 Granted NY to Nevada

Mother had history of alcohol abuse and mental illness; maternal grandmother petitioned for relocation; child has flourished with maternal grandmother; other family would be nearby.

Third 2004 Herman v. Villafane, 9 A.D.3d 525 Denied New York to Czech Republic

Parties never married; no real proof of increased finances; father has strong relationship with children and provides emotional and financial support.

Second 2004 Fegadel-Anderson v. Anderson, 9 A.D.3d 409 Denied Orange Co., NY to Florida (or Rochester)

Mother wanted to relocate to Florida or in the alternative, Rochester.  Denied, no facts.

Second 2004 Rutigliano v. Rutigliano, 5 A.D.3d 581 Denied NY to Florida

No facts; record establishes sound and substantial basis for determination that mother should stay in New York.

Second 2004 Rheingold v. Rheingold, 4 A.D.3d 406 set down for hearing Kings Co., NY

Parties had agreed to 40 mile radius; court considered this only as one factor of best interest analysis, but not dispositive.

Second 2004 Floro v. Floro, 4 A.D.3d 389 Granted Suffolk Co., NY to Denville, NJ

Mother moved w/child before divorce; Mother lived with her brother; Father’s motion denied; no other facts.

Second 2004 Rotering v. Rotering, 6 A.D.3d 718 Denied NY to North Dakota

No facts; Father not permitted to relocate.

Second 2003 Kime v. Kime, 302 A.D.2d 564 Denied NY to Florida

No facts given; sound and substantial basis in trial court record to deny relocation.

Second 2003 Confort v. Nicolai, 309 A.D.2d 861 Denied NY to Florida

Mother’s motivation was economic advancement and support network but it did not justify uproot of children’s from familiar area away from Father.

Fourth 2003 Carncross v. O’Connell, 302 A.D.2d 931, 753 N.Y.S.2d 916 Granted NY to People’s Republic of China

Family Court erred in refusing to permit relocation of a child for a period of two school years based upon “unique experience” and attendance at a renowned international school.

Second 2003 Huestis v. Honeyman, 302 A.D.2d 525, 755 N.Y.S.2d 272 Denied Port Washington NY to Canastota, NY (300 miles from Father)

Mother had to move within 50 miles of prior residence or else Father would get custody. Mother left with new husband and other children.

Fourth 2002 Rivera v. Perez, 299 A.D.2d 944 Denied NY to Georgia

Remanded by Appellate Division.  Parties never married; concerns custody and duty of trial court to consider all relevant factors.

Second 2002 Reilly v. Schmidt, 295 A.D.2d 436 Granted NY to Connecticut

No Facts; sound and substantial basis in record.

Second 2002 Maysonet v. Contreras, 290 A.D.2d 510 Granted NY to Florida

Court found move to be in best interest and did not follow the recommendations of Law Guardian or expert.

Second 2002 Palumbo v. Palumbo, 292 A.D.2d 358 Granted Nassau Co., NY

Court deleted provision that required Mother to remain in current school district indefinitely (in light of financial situation).

Fourth 2002 Wood v. Hargrave, 292 A.D.2d 795 Denied NY to South Carolina

Although an economic benefit to child, the relationship with Father would be adversely affected due to distance, Father’s work schedule, and financial resources of the parties.

Third 2002 Lattuca v. Natale-Lattuca, 293 A.D.2d 805 Denied Saratoga Co. to Rochester, NY

Mother enjoined from going to Rochester even though parties put in Stipulation that it was okay after three years. Parents already lived 40 miles apart.

Third 2002 Jelfo v. Arthur, 295 A.D.2d 689 Denied NY to Pennsylvania (3 hours commute)

Father took children to PA without approval; Mother and Father both petitioned for custody; PA not in best interest of child because frequent and regular contact disturbed; only modest increase in salary in PA.

Second 2002 Miller v. Pipia, 297 A.D.2d 362 Granted NY to Florida

Mother went to FL with child prior to divorce, court cited that child was already settled, Mother found work in Fl, and lives with her mother; court ordered liberal visitation. Both parties responsible loving parents; Mother’s home was “more appropriate” even though Father has more $.

Third 2002 Siler v. Siler, 293 A.D.2d 826 Denied NY to Pennsylvania

Custody modified unless Mother moves within 50 mile radius; 4 hour car ride is too burdensome; extended family in both locales.

Third 2001 Kryvanis v. Kruty, 288 A.D.2d 771 Granted NY to North Carolina

Father had sporadic visitation and no child support; Mother willing to transport; Mother had economic necessity to move.

Third 2001 Grathwol v. Grathwol, 285 A.D.2d 957 Granted Clifton Park, NY to Syracuse, NY

Employment scarce in Clifton Park, Mother found job in Syracuse; extended family there; Mother more likely to ensure meaningful relationship with Father; Father inconsistent with involvement; financial improvement.

Fourth 2001 Fruchter v. Fruchter, 288 A.D.2d 942 Granted NY to Connecticut

Mother has always been primary caretaker; Father has strained relationship with children and past abuse.

Third 2001 Milea v. Paradiso, 279 A.D.2d 898 Denied Relocation to another county

Where children lived only a few blocks from school and had a strong attachment to their father, who was an active parent, mother’s desire to be in close proximity to her extended family and raise her children in a country environment was not sufficient to justify relocation.

Fourth 2001 Boyer v. Boyer, 281 A.D.2d 953 Granted Onondaga Co. to Jefferson Co. NY

Mother was primary caretaker; move would enhance financial situation and allow Mother more time with child; frequency of visits with Father was affected but Mother willing to maintain their bond and positive relationship.

Third 2001 Glaser v. McFadden, 287 A.D.2d 902 Denied NY to Virginia

Opportunity to improve economic situation but need to remain in stable surroundings and family home; no evidence that job was permanent; children were always clothed and fed. (also a custody issue)

Fourth 2000 Guiffrida v. Adams, 277 A.D.2d 948 Denied NY to California

Grandmother suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease and would feel better in CA; relatives in San Diego; no evidence on education; close relationship with Father too and he is is a good father.

Third 2000 Thomas v. Thomas, 271 A.D.2d 726 Granted NY to Massachusetts

Mother has been primary caregiver; extended family in Mass.; $ better, won’t have to maintain two houses; Mother previously lived 1 ½ hours away from Father; Father still gets meaningful visitation but mid-week visit eliminated.

Third 2000 Hrusovsky v. Benjamin, 274 A.D.2d 674 Granted NY to Virginia

Parties never married; Mother married and lives in VA, petitioned for custody; child has loving relationship with both parties; Father owns/runs bar; child better off with Mother and husband.

Third 2000 Satalino v. Satalino, 273 A.D.2d 632 Granted Albany Co., NY to Cattaraugus Co., NY (340 miles from Father)

No extended family in new location, but new husband and new job, better economic situation, better home.  No relocation clause in separation agreement.

First 2000 Salichs v. James, 268 A.D.2d 168 Denied NY to Puerto Rico

Mother failed to satisfy that moving would enhance child’s life.

Third 2000 Bodrato v. Biggs, 274 A.D.2d 694 Granted Schenectady Co, NY to New Jersey

Also a custody issue. Mother bore expense of transportation to Father in NY; better home environment (at Father’s, no sheets, dirty house).

Third 2000 Thompson v. Smith, 277 A.D.2d 520 Granted Tompkins Co. NY to Maine

Good-faith in seeking move; employment in Maine; “strengthen post divorce family unit”; visitation schedule affords meaningful contact; parallel move by Father feasible.

Third 1999 Henion v. Henion, 267 A.D.2d 805 Granted Broome Co., NY to Virginia

Stipulation said NY only; Mother obtained job in VA when none found in NY, Father has meaningful & consistent relationship with children, but Mother flexible with visitation and willing to bear expenses to keep children’s relationship with Father strong.

Fourth 1999 Michaels v. Michaels, 258 A.D.2d 965 Granted Cayuga Co. to town less than 30 miles away

Father not deprived of meaningful access by relocation from Cayuga County to town less than 30 miles away.

Second 1999 Clum v. Seksinsky, 263 A.D.2d 507 Granted NY to Pennsylvania

Father moved from NY first to UT, then Mother with children’s to PA. Court awarded Father travel expenses, ordered drop off to occur at airport.

Fourth 1999 Savage v. Morrison, 262 A.D.2d 1077 Denied NY to Pittsburgh, PA

Both parents have close and loving relationship; Father exercised visitation on regular basis; Mother and Father do not get along and contact would probably not be encouraged if in Pittsburgh; child said she wished to remain in NY.

Third 1999 Barber v. Stanley, 260 A.D.2d 744 Granted NY to North Carolina

Both parents were committed to child but Mother was more stable parent and more likely to foster meaningful relationship with Father; extended family in NC, improved economic situation and cessation of exposure to acrimony between parents.

Third 1999 Crawson v. Crawson, 263 A.D.2d 656 Granted NY to Delaware

Mother wants to relocate; Father has girlfriend who disciplines children with violence; Father interferes with Mother’s access to children; Mother is better suited to provide for well-being and growth of children.

Second 1998 Harmon v. Harmon, 254 A.D.2d 456 Granted NY to Florida

Better network of support in FL; no other facts.

Second 1998 Blackburn v. Santiago, 250 A.D.2d 676, 671 N.Y.S.2d 688 Granted NY to Washington

B/I analysis, no facts.

Third 1998 Long v. Long, 252 A.D.2d 722 Granted NY to Massachusetts (200 miles)

Stipulation allowed 100 miles; Mother remarried and got new job (“genuine motive”); move gives better educational opportunities; Mother willing to transport for liberal visits; enhances children’s lives; children still love Father, liberal visitation awarded.

Fourth 1998 Carlson v. Carlson, 248 A.D.2d 1026 Granted Cassadaga School District, to Panama School District (25 miles)

Stipulation chose school district; Mother motivated by new marriage and attempt to better financial situation; Father affected only minimally due to distance.

Third 1998 Burr v. Emmett, 249 A.D.2d 614 Denied NY to California

Extensive family in NY; no stability in CA job; familiar surroundings and strong bonds in NY.

Second 1998 Huston v. Jones, 252 A.D.2d 502 Granted NY to Georgia

Mother is the primary caregiver but Father has a close relationship with child; Father’s family in NY and is also close with child; Trial court allowed relocation but Appellate Division ordered Mother to return within 50 mile radius of Father’s home.

Third 1998 Kemp v. Teeter, 252 A.D.2d 685 Denied NY to North Carolina

Parties were never married; moved without consent; no evidence of lack of jobs in NY; no evidence of improved quality of life; Father would be deprived of regular meaningful access to child.

Second 1998 Hopkins v. Wilkerson, 255 A.D.2d 319 Granted NY to Pennsylvania

Mother wanted to relocate; both parents are loving and capable; sole custody to Mother in PA. No other facts.

Fourth 1998 Emmi v. Fleszar, 256 A.D.2d 1199 Denied Syracuse, NY to Philadelphia

Sole motivation to relocate was to place distance between child and Father. Fresh start alone is insufficient to justify relocation.

Third 1998 Yelverton v. Stokes, 247 A.D.2d 719 Denied NY to California

Motivation was remarriage and lack of jobs in NY for new husband; both parents suitable but Mother failed to plan for school in CA, no relationship between husband and child; friends and family in NY.

Third 1998 Huff v. Keely, 249 A.D.2d 844 Denied Tioga Co., NY to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Father was loving and fit parent and would foster relationship with child’s mother; Mother moved child without permission first and makes disparaging remarks about Father in front of child; move did not improve financial situation.

Fourth 1998 Sean I.R. v. Jennifer J.B., 251 A.D.2d 1034 Granted Niagara Co., NY to Wayne Co., NY

Lower court held that Mother must remain in Niagara to keep custody; Appellate court reversed and said that relocation lacked substantial basis in record.

Second 1998 Pardee v. Pardee, 246 A.D.2d 522, 666 N.Y.S.2d 926 Granted NY to Washington

Mother and child’s life will be enhanced economically, emotionally, and educationally, but Father close with child, so maximized visitation. No other facts.

Second 1998 Delgado v. Nazario, 253 A.D.2d 640 Denied NY to Florida

Mother’s desire for a “better life” is too vague; no proof that asthma will improve in Fl or that NY is threat to well-being.

Second 1998 Mascola v. Mascola, 251 A.D.2d 414 Denied NY to Florida

Mother’s relocation because of health and job in Florida did not serve best interest of children.

Fourth 1997 Sawyer v. Sawyer, 242 A.D.2d 969 Denied Buffalo, NY to Delaware

Father exercised visitation regularly and always paid child support; after move, visitation reduced to alternate weekends; family in NY; relocation was not based on economic necessity only on job preference of new husband.

Third 1997 Burnham v. Basta, 241 A.D.2d 628 Denied NY to New Jersey

Custody to Mother if she moved back to NY within 30 days; motivated my economic reasons but no proof that same isn’t available in NY; 2-3 hour car rides were too long for visits; Father was suitable enough parent if Mother insisted on moving.

Third 1997 Mendoza v. Adamson, 238 A.D.2d 737 Denied NY to California

Extended family in NY; currently a stable environment in NY; no evidence of job in CA.

Third 1997 Davis v. Davis, 238 A.D.2d 708 Denied NY to Alabama

Move to AL would seriously alter the frequency, quantity and quality of visits due to financial burden and distance; lack of showing of need for move.

Fourth 1997 Gillard v. Gillard, 241 A.D.2d 966 Granted NY to Vancouver

Mother was improving economic status and was trying to spend more time with child. New husband has significant business in Vancouver which prohibits move to NY.  Father was involved in child’s life and activities; child bonded to new wife and stepson; Mother offered to pay and visitation schedule was maximized.

Third 1997 Brown v. McGuire, 245 A.D.2d 895 Denied NY to Michigan

Father’s employment prospect is not better than available NY job; children were doing well in MI, but Mother’s visitation was diminished and the move was not a dramatic enhancement in the children’s lives.

Second 1997 Christoffersen v. Gingras, 243 A.D.2d 599 Granted NY to Pennsylvania

Mother permitted to relocate where she accepted job and Father had failed to visit or pay child support.

Fourth 1997 Hilton v. Hilton, 244 A.D.2d 902, 665 N.Y.S.2d 203 Granted Jamestown, NY to Hillsdale, Columbia Co. (400 miles from father)

Father has history of violence and abuse; Mother has always been primary caregiver; Father got visitation.

Third 1996 Cagamek v. Cagamek, 233 A.D.2d 701 Granted NY to Texas

Father’s job relocated; Mother was financially irresponsible and awarded visitation only.

Second 1996 Malandro v. Lido, 229 A.D.2d 541 Granted NY to Florida

Permission to relocate based on mother’s inability to find work in NY and her concern for the child’s health.

Second 1996 McFadden v. Wilson, 229 A.D.2d 581, 646 N.Y.S.2d 43 Granted NY to North Carolina

Parties never married; Mother planned to put a different child up for adoption and Father went to NC with child. Child was one of 11 in Mother’s home; Father’s home was bigger, own bedroom, stay-at-home stepmom.

Second 1996 Frayne v. Frayne, 234 A.D.2d 545 Granted East Fishkill, NY to Suffolk Co., NY (100 miles)

Court did away with condition of custody that Mother move within 45 miles of Father in East Fishkill.

Third 1996 Harder v. Yandoh, 228 A.D.2d 814 Granted Village of Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., to Village of Hammond, St. Lawrence Co., (65 mi from mother)

Father moved with new wife and children for wife’s health and employment reasons, and Father committed to preserving relationship between child and Mother, larger new home, close to school; Mother unemployed; mid-week visit suspended; (sole custody awarded due to tumultuous relationship).

Second 1996 Coryell P. v. Louis J.P., 231 A.D.2d 701, 648 N.Y.S.2d 122 Granted NY to Arizona

Children expressed desire to live with Mother in AZ; Father’s house was filthy; LG and psychologist recommended custody and relocation with Mother.

Third 1996 Cate v. La Valley, 229 A.D.2d 945, 645 N.Y.S.2d 236 Granted NY to Texas

Mother is primary caretaker; Father showed little interest and history of fathering children out of wedlock and drug abuse; Mother’s family in TX.

Second 1996 Gonia v. Gonia, 231 A.D.2d 718 Denied NY to Georgia

Family court granted motion without notice to father and without hearing on best interet of child.

Second 1996 Schindler v. Schindler, 227 A.D.2d 634, 643 N.Y.S.2d 196 Granted New York to ?

Father had been primary caregiver of children; allowed to move; no other facts given.

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