Family Law (Divorce, Family Relations)/Divorce timeline



I wonder if you can help?  I know you specialise in WA law but was wondering if you could answer a question on NY divorce laws or have a rough idea at any rate?  My boyfriend is English but live sin New York at the moment and has been separated from his wife since October.  His estranged wife is based in NY but is mostly away in other states with work and rarely sees their son whom my bf brigs up alone.  They separated amicably but there is now  custody battle going on as his ex doesn't seem to interested in the welfare of her son and would rather make money working away so rarely sees him and as a result my bf wants to move back to the UK and bring his son up there (where I am also from)  He doesn't talk about the process a great deal as he's so stressed with it all so was wondering if you had any idea how long such a divorce might take roughly?

Thanks so much

I AM NOT A LAWYER or ATTORNEY. I am someone who has experience in family law issues, and am offering my OPINION only. For the exact law as it pertains to your specific case contact a Professional Attorney who specializes in FAMILY LAW in your area/county/Country:BE PREPARED by making a summary sheet of your issue: Almost ALL Lawyers give 1/2 free consultation time.

Wow good question Lucy: Now sit down, OK. The issue here is Custody, and the movement of said child Out of the Country(USA) to another Country(UK).  First let me make it perfectly clear you have a pretty HIGH hill to climb: Because family law wants Mom and Dad to be in the childs life: They want Mom and Dad to work together for the best interest of said child: They don't want said child moving around unless the child is in 'danger' from one parent or another: There ya go a brief summary.

Now I recommend that you see an Attorney who specializes in Divorce/Custody whereby Mom/Dad live in different countries: Here is a brief summary.

Relocation and laws in place:

Lets be perfectly clear the laws have gotten tougher on Primary parents whom simple desire to 'move' at will. There are a lot of issues concerning moving a child out of State.  Many States are adopting new laws to prevent Parents move out of State for the child sake.

Most require that the parent seeking permission to move the child demonstrate that the move would advance the child’s best interest.

Not unlike the present law, the new law provides that a parent cannot relocate out of the state with a minor child unless that parent has:

1. consent of the other parent, if that parent has been given parenting time by an order or decree; or

2. an order of the court allowing the relocation.

As a result, it is incumbent upon the parent seeking to relocate out-of-state to file a motion and acquire an order allowing that relocation before doing so. A failure to follow this procedure creates a serious risk that the dissenting parent may seek an ex parte order changing custody immediately pending a hearing on the relocation issue.

When the matter is considered by the court, a judge may not allow the relocation if it is demonstrated that the purpose of the move is to interfere with parenting time that has been given to the other parent by a decree or order. In the past, when determining whether to allow a parent to relocate with the child, there was a presumption in favor of maintaining the present custodial arrangement.

In other words, the custodial parent had significant advantage in court when seeking to relocate, with a legal presumption in his/her favor. As a direct result, in most cases the relocation was allowed. This presumption and advantage no longer exist under the new law. The end result is that it will be far more difficult for a parent to relocate out-of-state and away from the other parent with a minor child.

Under the new laws, such move-away determinations are made based on what is in the best interests of the child. The factors the court must consider in determining the child’s best interests include, but are not limited to:

1. the nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child's relationship with the person proposing to relocate and with the non-relocating person, siblings, and other significant persons in the child's life;

2. the age, developmental stage, needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child's physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration special needs of the child;  

3. the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating person and the child through suitable parenting time arrangements, considering the logistics and financial circumstances of the parties;  

4. the child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child;  

5. whether there is an established pattern of conduct of the person seeking the relocation to either promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the non-relocating person;  

6. whether the relocation of the child will enhance the general quality of life for both the custodial parent seeking the relocation and the child, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity;

7. the reasons of each person for seeking or opposing the relocation; and

8. the effect on the safety and welfare of the child, or of the parent requesting to move the child's residence, or evidence of domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01.

It is critical to note that the new laws places the burden of proof on the parent requesting to move the residence of the child to another state.

Work with Attorney.

Web References:
Moving child out of STATE:






Moving Child out of Country:

The bottom line in all cases is "what is in best interest of said child" as I stated. Even though your case is compelling, it really spells out self interest of one parent as in most cases.  Your challenge is that in order to move you must prove to the courts that the move is in best interest of said child.

Good Luck,

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Jeff Laatsch


WA Law with respect to family court issues: order to show cause/notice of motions, establishing or modification of an order, custody, visitation, child support, parenting schedules, mediation, preparations and filings of all documents: International relocation experience: Create a win/win/win situation between Mom-Children-Dad...


Self taught and experience with working with various Court Clerks.

Masters Degree

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