In a post-judgment divorce action, the Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Stamford-Norwalk at Stamford considered whether it was in the best interests of a minor child to permit his relocation outside of Connecticut.

Case Details

In this case, the marriage of the plaintiff mother and defendant father was dissolved in August 2001. They had two children together and resided in Fairfield, though at the time of this action, only one was a minor child. The mother had sole physical custody of the minor child, and she relocated with him to New Hampshire. The mother testified that she could not afford to live in Fairfield County, and found a fully furnished home with a mortgage within her budget. She chose New Hampshire because family members lived in the vicinity of the relocation site, and the father could reasonably afford to visit the minor child.

After investigating educational and recreational activities available to the minor child, the mother believed the community would provide “a wholesome and stable environment” for him. While the minor child was initially resistant to the move, he adjusted well to his new surroundings and was making “good friends and good choices.”

The Court’s Decision

When a court considers relocation matters that will impact an already-existing parenting plan, it must consider whether relocation is for a legitimate purpose, to a reasonable location, and in the best interests of the child. In this case, the trial court was satisfied that the move to New Hampshire was a reasonable location and for a legitimate purpose, and it was in the younger child’s best interests to remain there. The trial court ordered that the younger child remain in New Hampshire and made numerous orders with respect to visitation with the father.

Written by Lindsay E. Raber, Esq.

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