parent with child

Child custody and visitation arrangements can become complicated when one parent decides to move out of state. New York has specific laws in place to protect the best interests of the child during such relocations. It’s crucial for parents to understand these laws and follow the necessary procedures to ensure a smooth transition while preserving the parent-child relationship. In this blog post, we will explore the child relocation laws in New York and the key considerations for parents facing such a situation.

The Best Interests of the Child

New York Family Courts prioritize the best interests of the child when making decisions regarding child custody and visitation. This principle applies to cases involving parental relocations as well. Courts aim to ensure that the child’s physical and emotional well-being are protected, and that they continue to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, whenever possible.

Factors Considered by the Court

During the court proceedings, several factors will be considered to determine the best interests of the child. These factors include among other things:

  1. The reasons for the proposed relocation: The court will assess the motives behind the move and evaluate whether it is being done in good faith or to disrupt the non-relocating parent’s relationship with the child.
  2. The child’s relationship with each parent: The court will examine the quality of the child’s relationship with both parents and the potential impact of the move on their relationship with the non-relocating parent.
  3. The child’s preferences: If the child is of sufficient age and maturity, their preferences may be taken into account when determining the outcome of the relocation case.
  4. Educational opportunities: The court will consider the potential impact of the move on the child’s education and any available educational opportunities in both the current and proposed locations.
  5. Emotional and physical well-being: The court will evaluate the potential effects of the relocation on the child’s overall well-being, including emotional and physical health.

The Court’s Decision

After a trial, the court will make a decision based on the child’s best interests. The court may choose to permit the relocation, deny the relocation, or modify the visitation and custody arrangements to accommodate the move.


Relocating with a child out of state can be a complex and emotionally challenging process. Understanding New York’s child relocation laws and following the proper procedures are essential for both parents involved. By prioritizing the child’s best interests and seeking legal guidance when needed, parents can navigate this process with greater clarity and ensure that the child’s well-being and parental relationships are protected throughout the relocation.

By Richard Shappo