The Law Offices of John Ferrara

If Approved, How Are Transportation Costs Worked Out Amongst Parents?

Again, if the order or agreement in effect answers this question, then the order or agreement governs.

If the order or agreement is silent, one needs to consider the relative negotiating positions of the parties. If my client needs to move to Florida, and the other parent is fine with the move provided the custodial parent pays for the transportation costs, one needs to consider the value of that consent. How likely is the victory at trial? What will be the litigation costs at trial? How long will a judicial determination take? And what will the transportation costs be (the costs will be greater for young children who cannot fly alone; some routes are cheaper than others)?

Said differently, if you need to move but are unlikely to prevail at trial, and the adversary will consent provided you pay the travel costs, you are probably wise to pay the travel costs.

How Is Jurisdiction Defined If The Parents Reside In Separate States?

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) governs which court will decide custody issues when the parents live in different states. An initial child custody determination will be made by the home state of the child, as that term is defined at DRL § 75-a- 7). “‘Home state’ means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding. In the case of a child less than six months of age, the term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.”

After the move, should a parent wish to modify the order, one needs to look to DRL § 76- b:

Except as otherwise provided in section seventy-six-c of this title, a court of this state may not modify a child custody determination made by a court of another state unless a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under paragraph (a) or (b) of subdivision one of section seventy-six of this title and:

The court of the other state determines it no longer has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under section seventy-six-a of this title or that a court of this state would be a more convenient forum under section seventy-six-f of this title; or

A court of this state or a court of the other state determines that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in the other state.

Will The Court Change The Visitation Schedule Due To Relocation, Travel Times Required, etc.?

Again, depending upon to where the moving parent relocates, and the schedule the parties had before the move, the answer will follow. Clearly, a move to California will eliminate midweek visits and even alternate weekends. Very few judges would see coast to coast travel on alternate weekends in a child’s best interest. The parties will have to look toward school vacations to allow the party who remains to maintain a relationship with his or her child. (Of course, before a child starts school, the parties or the court will retain more flexibility).

But a move to the next county may allow the parties to maintain an alternate weekend schedule with little difficulty.

For more information on Transportation Costs Among Parents, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (845) 794-1303 today.

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