Posts tagged with "relocate"

In DCF Case, Grandmother was Permitted to Relocate to North Carolina with the Minor Child

In a recent case involving the Department of Children and Families, a maternal grandmother was permitted to move with her granddaughter from Connecticut to North Carolina after successfully intervening in the matter. By way of background, the plaintiff and defendant were the parents of a thirteen year old child. Unfortunately, their relationship was filled with conflict which resulted in DCF involvement. At one point, the Department filed a neglect petition against both parents upon allegations of domestic violence, drug use, abandonment and lack of cooperation with authorities. Pursuant to a Probate Court order, the maternal grandmother was awarded temporary custody, and in a subsequent Family Court action, she was awarded sole legal and physical custody.

The grandmother later filed a motion for modification requesting that the court allow her to relocate to North Carolina with the child. In reviewing the circumstances, the court noted that the father presented as smart and well-spoken, and that it appeared he wanted his daughter to be a part of his life. However, it also noted that, historically, his visitation was sporadic and there were long periods of time when he did not see his daughter at all. The Court also found that the father blamed everyone else for his absence, and although he objected to the maternal grandmother’s motion to relocate, he failed to provide any viable proposal to support the child himself. The mother did not offer herself as an option for custody; rather she expressed agreement with the proposed relocation.

The Court found that the grandmother demonstrated a substantial change in the circumstances warranting a modification of the then current custody arrangement, namely that she was retiring to North Carolina. The Court further found that she and her husband rented an affordable apartment, that she had family support in the proposed area, that she researched the schools and was satisfied they would give the child a good education, and that as she was not employed, she would be at home full time to care for the child. The Court also found that the grandmother was willing to provide transportation so the child could see her father. The family relations investigator and guardian ad litem both supported the move, testifying that it would be in the child’s best interests. Based on the foregoing, the Court ultimately found that a change in circumstances existed, that the relocation was for a legitimate purpose, that the proposed location in North Carolina was reasonable in light of that purpose and that the relocation was in the best interests of the minor child.

Should you have any questions regarding DCF or family matters, please feel free to contact Michael D. DeMeola, Esq. He can be reached in the firm’s Westport office at (203) 221-3100 or by e-mail at mdemeola@mayalaw.com.

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Our family law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with divorce, matrimonial, and family law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best divorce attorneys and family attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut divorce or New York divorce today.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a divorce law attorney about a divorce or familial matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100. We offer free divorce consultation as well as free consultation on all other familial matters. Divorce in CT and divorce in NYC is difficult, but education is power. Call our family law office in CT today.

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Psychological Well-Being and Happiness of Custodial Parent Important in Determining Best Interests of a Minor Child

In a recent divorce action, a mother sought leave of court to relocate with her minor child from Connecticut to California against the wishes of the child’s father. This case serves as an ample example that in determining the best interests of a child, the well-being of the parent is of notable consideration.

The plaintiff mother and defendant father were married in June 2004 and made plans to have a family together. During the final week of her pregnancy, the mother found out that the father had engaged in a prolonged extramarital affair, which began prior to her becoming pregnant. In the wake of this discovery, the mother heavily relied on her family, who travelled from San Jose, California, to be with her, for emotional support in picking up the pieces of her life following the breakdown of her marriage. The mother had no family and few friends in Connecticut, in stark of the support network she had in San Jose, and she indicated she would be far happier if she were allowed to relocate.

The guardian ad litem (guardian) recommended against relocation, citing the child’s very young age (one year) and developmental concerns if he were separated from the father, such as attachment difficulties. However, the court noted that the guardian failed to consider that what is important for the psychological well-being and happiness of the primary custodial parent to relocate is equally important for the wellbeing of the child. This latter view was echoed by the family relations officer. The court agreed that it was essential that the mother be emotionally secure, which would be solidified by a strong family and friend support structure located in San Jose. It further noted, “This child is depending upon his mother being all that she can be and feeling secure as an appropriate and healthy parent for him.” Therefore, the court found it was in the child’s best interests to allow him to relocate with his mother to California.

Whether advancing or defending a motion seeking modification of custody, visitation, and child support, a parent is best served by consulting with an experienced family law practitioner. Should you have questions regarding matrimonial matters, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Joseph C. Maya in the firm’s Westport office in Fairfield County at 203-221-3100 or JMaya@mayalaw.com.
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Our family law firm in Westport Connecticut serves clients with divorce, matrimonial, and family law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We have the best divorce attorneys and family attorneys in CT on staff that can help with your Connecticut divorce or New York divorce today.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a divorce law attorney about a divorce or familial matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100. We offer free divorce consultation as well as free consultation on all other familial matters. Divorce in CT and divorce in NYC is difficult, but education is power. Call our family law office in CT today.

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Mother Permitted to Relocate to Belgium with Minor Children

In a recent decision rendered in the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Litchfield, a mother was permitted to relocate with her children to Denmark. By way of background, the parties obtained a divorce in 2008, and are the parents of three minor children. The mother is a Belgian citizen, and in furtherance of her petition, claimed that a) she intended to remarry in Denmark and b) it would be in the children’s best interest to complete their secondary education in Europe.

Following a hearing, the court found that throughout the marriage the mother stayed home to care for the children, while the father traveled. After the parties’ divorce, the father only visited the children once per month. The Court found the visits to be inadequate as the father would rent a single room, and as the children grew older and it became inappropriate for all three to stay overnight, one would have to return home during the visitation. Additionally, more recently, the parties’ daughter stopped communicating with the father altogether after learning that he remarried without telling the children. Importantly, the court also found that the family lived in Europe for two years during the marriage, that the children are bilingual, that the children lived with the mother in Belgium for a period of time following the parties’ divorce, and that the children actually attended school in Denmark and Belgium for a period of time.

The court ultimately found that the proposed relocation was for a legitimate purpose, that the proposed location was reasonable in light of that purpose, and that the relocation was in the best interests of the children. More specifically, the court found that the mother’s desire to remarry constituted a legitimate purpose for the proposed move, and that her knowledge and experience dealing with the school system in Denmark enabled her to determine that the children would benefit from receiving an education there. The Court also relied upon its finding that there exists a close bond between both the mother and the children, and amongst the siblings, while the relationship between the children and their father is strained. In support of its decision, the court also noted that the children have already become accustomed to seeing their father relatively infrequently.

Should you have any questions regarding issues pertaining to relocation, or matrimonial matters in general, please do not hesitate to contact Michael D. DeMeola, Esq. He can be reached by telephone in the firm’s Westport office at (203) 221-3100 or by e-mail at mdemeola@mayalaw.com.
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Our firm in Westport serves clients with divorce, matrimonial, and family law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a divorce or familial matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100 for a free consultation. Divorce is difficult, education is power. Call today.

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Court Permits Mother to Relocate from Connecticut to New York City with the Parties’ Minor Child

In a recent decision rendered in the Superior Court of Hartford, a mother was permitted to relocate with the parties’ minor child from New Haven, Connecticut to New York City. This particular case involved an unmarried couple that had been living apart for several years. The father was employed by the State of Connecticut in the IT field, and the mother was a part-time research associate at Yale. The mother had earned several advanced degrees, including two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. In early 2010, the mother applied for a full time position in New York City.

In determining whether the move was in the child’s best interests, the court concluded that the mother had been the child’s primary caregiver for most of her life, and that she had a legitimate employment offer in New York City. The court found that the new opportunity was commensurate with the mother’s advanced degrees and would enable her to financially support and care for the child. The court further found that the mother was not acting in “bad faith” in pursuing the opportunity, that the mother was engaged to a man that lived and worked in close proximity to where she would be living, and that the mother’s extended family lived close by and would be able to support the mother and the child.

Although the court noted that the move would make visitation more difficult for the father, it found that leaving the child in Connecticut away from her primary caregiver, who did not have an employment opportunity in Connecticut commensurate with her advanced education, was not in the child’s best interests. The court also observed that the mother’s fiancé worked in the hedge fund industry, had no criminal history and was respectful of the mother’s role in her daughter’s life. The court also noted that the mother was willing to facilitate and encourage a relationship between the child and the father whereas the father questioned the mother’s parenting decisions without being able to give a persuasive example of poor parenting on the mother’s part.

Should you have any questions regarding relocation, or custody actions in general, please feel free to contact Attorney Michael D. DeMeola, Esq. He can be reached at (203) 221-3100 or by e-mail at mdemeola@mayalaw.com.
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Our firm in Westport serves clients with divorce, matrimonial, and family law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a divorce or familial matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100 for a free consultation. Divorce is difficult, education is power. Call today.

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Court Considers Economy in Relocation Case

When a custodial parent would like to relocate, and that relocation would have a significant impact on an existing parenting plan, the moving party must show that the relocation is for a legitimate purpose, the proposed location is reasonable in light of that purpose, and the relocation is in the best interests of the child(ren). C.G.S. Sec. 46b-56d(a). Further, the court should consider, but is not limited to, the following factors: a) each parent’s reasons for seeking or opposing the move; b) the quality of the relationship between the child and the custodial and noncustodial parents; c) the impact of the move on the quantity and quality of the child’s future contact with the noncustodial parent; d) the degree to which the custodial parent’s and child’s life may be enhanced economically, emotionally and educationally by the move; and e) the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the noncustodial parent and child  through suitable visitation arrangements. C.G.S. Sec. 46b-56d(a).

In light of the current state of our economy, it appears as though judges may be assigning greater weight to parties’ economic circumstances, recognizing that it is becoming increasingly  necessary for parties to move considerable distances to obtain (or retain) employment.  Just recently, the Superior Court of New Haven (Gould, J.) permitted a mother to relocate with the parties’ three minor children from Connecticut to Pennsylvania on the basis that, among other things, the move would allow her to transition back into the work force, which the mother claimed would be necessary for her to adequately support her children, and herself.

After considering the statutory criteria set forth above, the Court explained,  “Our society is an increasingly mobile one.  Largely because of the instability and unpredictability of the employment market . . . repeated, separate moves by each parent are coming to represent the norm.” (internal quotations omitted)  J. Wallerstein & T. Tanke [‘To Move or Not to Move: Psychological and Legal Considerations in the Relocation of Children Following Divorce,’ 30 Fam. L.Q. 305, 310 (1996)].   The Court continued, “Our family law should recognize that reality. Therefore, to serve the best interests of a child in a single-parent family unit, the custodial parent should be permitted to pursue, within reasonable limits, opportunities that could lead to a better life for the parent as well as the child.” (internal citations omitted).

Should you have any questions regarding this posting, please feel free to contact Attorney Michael D. DeMeola at mdemeola@mayalaw.com or by telephone at (203) 221-3100.