If you are the non-custodial parent and you want to oppose relocation of your child here are the first steps before you even retain an experienced matrimonial lawyer.
1. Utilize all of your current parenting time. Do not miss visitation. Keep a log of your activities with your child.
2. Be current in your child support.
3. Attend school conferences, extra-curricular activiities, awards ceremonies and medical check-ups. Stay involved as much as you can with your child's academic and social growth.
4. Become a participant in your child's activities instead of sitting in the stands watching. Coach, lead, accompany and network with the other involved parents. Get yourself known as an involved parent.
Once the other parent has announced their desire to relocate to a place that will interfere or impede your already existing parenting schedule and involvement with your child, hire a lawyer who has experience in this area of matrimonial law. Below are just a few of the strategies involved in this type of case.
You must immediately consider seeking an injunction to prevent relocation AND also request residential custody of your child. The Court cannot stop the other parent from moving by themselves, but the Court CAN deny them the right to take the child with them and give you custody if you have asked for custody.
Remember the burden is on the parent who wants to relocate. Besides maintaining your involvement with your child, you get to put the other parent's reasons for moving under the microscope. Examine the reasons for the move if they are economic, familial, social, educational or otherwise. Be prepared to demonstrate to the Court that the reasons for relocation do not really exist and that the move will not be good for the child because of the loss of the opportunity to parent the child by the non-custodial parent.
Research the location where the parent wants to move. Find out what the demographics are, research the distance and method of travel and time of travel.
Be realistic, does your child want to relocate? Ask the Court to appoint an attorney for the child to advocate for the child's wishes. Meet with the attorney for the child.
If you are in need of representation, please contact my office because it is much easier to guide the case in the beginning rather than to come into the case in the middle. We can help you with this major problem.