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Home / Case Digests / Appellate Division, Fourth Dept. / Fourth Department — Custody — Relocation Petition: Lang-Loeb v. O’Neill

Fourth Department — Custody — Relocation Petition: Lang-Loeb v. O’Neill

Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Custody — Relocation Petition

Employment — Conditioning Custody

Lang-Loeb v. O’Neill
CAF 11-01230
Appealed from Family Court, Allegany County

Background: The petitioner mother brought a petition seeking permission to relocate with the parties’ daughter to Alabama, where the man to whom she had recently been married resided. The respondent father opposed the relocation and brought a petition seeking to modify the prior custody order by transferring primary physical custody of the child from the mother to him. The Family Court denied both petitions after a fact-finding hearing ordering that should the mother relocate to Alabama, the father should be the primary custodian of the child. Both parties appealed.

Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed in part and modified in part. The court found that the mother failed to meet her burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the proposed relocation was in the child’s best interests. The mother’s primary reason for moving to Alabama was the she had obtained a job there that, but by the conclusion of the hearing she no longer had the job. Further, there was no evidence that she had obtained work in New York or in Alabama after the job offer was lost. The Appellate Division modified the order granting primary custody to the father as it is contingent about the happening of a specified future event without first taking into account the child’s best interests at that time.

Raymond W. Bulson for the petitioner-appellant and respondent-appellant; Ferm S. Adelstein for the respondent-respondent and petitioner-respondent; Carloyn Kellogg Jonas, attorney for the child