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Moving Out of State with Your Children. What are the Rights of the Other Parent?

If you share a child with another parent, whether an ex-spouse or not, moving out of state with that child in common can be a problem.  Unless the other parent consents, a petition for permission to move the child’s residence will have to be sought. If there is no existing court order of custody, the child must reside in the new state for at least six months before residency is established to file for custody in the new state.

However, if there is an existing order in New York, and the other parent still resides there, New York retains jurisdiction. And in New York, relocation of a child out of state requires a high standard of proof demonstrating good cause for the move, and how it satisfies the child’s best interest, particularly in light of the child’s relationship to the parent who is not relocating.

Whether you are seeking to relocate with your child, or the other parent is attempting to do so, no move should be undertaken without the prior advice of counsel. Moving and then seeking permission after the fact is dangerous, as the move alone could result in the loss of custody.

The services and advice of an experienced attorney is most valuable in helping you to file in the proper state.  If you file in the wrong state, you have wasted time and money, especially if your petition is dismissed by the court for the improper jurisdiction. Now you must start all over again.  If it is a pressing matter, you will also suffer needless inconvenience.

The initial part of the solution is as simple as calling an attorney.  The law firm of Tully Rinckey is available to take your calls.  You will have the opportunity to speak with an experienced attorney in the area of law that you need, and we will be able to let you know if we can be of assistance to you during that call.

Don’t hesitate, call us if you need legal assistance.

Thomas J. Murphy, Esq. is a Partner in the Syracuse, NY office of Tully Rinckey PLLC, where he focuses his practice on Matrimonial and Family Law; Criminal, Vehicle and Traffic law; Civil Litigation; and police defense in excessive force and unlawful arrest cases. He can be reached at (315) 666-1172 or

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