A proceeding was brought by a mother, JL in Nassau County Supreme Court before Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Goodstein regarding relocating with her child to Florida. She requested the father’s existing visitation schedule with their child be modified.
The Custody Agreement
The parties had entered into a custody agreement which provided the mother with both residential and legal custody. A hearing was held and the mother testified the father exercised only minimal visitation with the child, spending only sixteen hours a month with the child. In addition, she claimed the father was $100,000 behind in his child support payments.
The Judge’s Decision
Justice Goodstein granted the mother’s request to relocate to Florida. In his decision he noted the father only spent sixteen hours a month with the child and the father did not engage in overnight or midweek visits with the child. In his decision he stated that based on the evidence, the child’s education and child care issues could be resolved if the mother moved to Florida where she had a family support system. In the end Justice Goodstein found the relocation of the mother and the child to Florida would be in the child’s best interest. He went on further to rule the father was entitled to both telephone, Skype and facetime contact with the child. However, it would be his responsibility to initiate such contact. In addition, all of the child’s expenses to fly to and from New York to visit with the father would be the mother’s sole responsibility.