John and I got divorced in 2016. Our children are 8 and 12. They reside with me and visit with dad. I met a very nice man and we began dating a few years ago. My boyfriend has proposed to me, but he resides in Maryland and my divorce agreement does not allow me to move outside of the New York Metropolitan area. What can I do? Do I have to choose between the man of my dreams and custody of my children?
New York has very strict relocation laws. The law presumes that the children are better off residing in close proximity to both parents. The parent who disrupts their routine is at risk of losing custody of the children. My advice is to avoid relocating or come to an agreement with your ex on terms of your relocation. Offer him the majority of the children's holiday time and summer vacations. If nothing works and you have to move, make sure you can show that it is necessary to advance an important life goal - career and marriage. The children would have to agree to move as well. The cour will necessarily give a lot of weight to the children's wishes as to whether they move with their Mom or stay with their Dad.