Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What information do I need to provide, to justify our moving to a different state other than what was in our custody agreement?

Q:  I live in New York, but signed a lease and gave a security for a house in NJ. Moving end of the month. My custody agreement states: Parties agree to reside within the states of New York, five boros, Nassau, Suffolk,Westchester&Rockland that are within a typical commuting distance of Manhattan by car or railroad. Outside this area need approval of court. The girls father wants to take me to court because I broke this agreement says I am cutting him off from his 2 daughters. The NJ house is 1 hour to Brooklyn by car where he lives and less than an hour to the City by train. Great NEighborhood and school system in NJ. Also 10 minute walk to school. 12 minute walk to train. Yet the other areas like westchester, Rockland are further away but he is ok with that. Please Advise. Thank you.

Additional information
We live in the Bronx and just wanted the best for our girls, a better place for for them to live and go to school. My older daughter hates the school she is in. Education is not great. Next year and the year to follow they will both be going to high school. The school I like them to go to, ranks 176 of the best 500 schools in the country. The school they are in now is no where in the radar, no where near that. I searched for months to find a place that was reasonable commute for the father so he can pick girls up, but he is being very unreasonable saying I want to take them away from him, when it just 1 hour away compare to Connecticut which is hours away. What are my rights? Do I have a case or do I try to get my deposit back if I can and look for a new place? Thanks I appreciate your help.

A:  David's Answer:  If that's the agreement, then you cannot move until you've filed a petition seeking relocation. Since the prior agreement was very specific, you'd need a very good reason to move outside of those areas - and merely moving to a "great neighborhood and school" will not generally suffice. Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody lawyer for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

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