In most typical relocations involving children, the moving party must abide by the child custody agreement as well as the limitations that it places. Some order prevents the custodial parent from moving certain miles away. Travel restrictions themselves are usually worked out during the divorce proceedings.

However, all of this becomes infinitely more complex when there isn’t a custody order/agreement in place. When no court order has been made, the relocating parent can actually face legal consequences by doing so. Prior to moving, or “relocating” within the state of New York, yourself and the children should have resided there for at least six months so that the courts will consider New York as what is known as “the home state” of the children.

If you choose to leave without consent of the court, your spouse can then petition the court to request that your child or children be brought back. On top of that, by trying to relocate with the children without first speaking with your spouse and getting their consent, you risk the court not finding in your favor for much of the divorce.

With or without a court order being in place, it is advised that you still file a child custody action, in which you state that you intend to move. By filing this new action, you now can additionally request for an accelerated trial that will determine whether or not you may move to begin with.

Using the notion that you are in fact relocating with the interests of the child in mind, this will put yourself in a better position by asking the court prior to relocating. However, if you take it upon yourself to make this decision without consulting the court or your spouse, you are then in a situation wherein the court will most likely order you to return for a hearing on this matter.