Thanks EM.. I don't usually frequent this board but had replied to another poster on this board a few days ago and was just checking up on that and saw this.
College, I also disagree with the legal advice you've been given. The other posters responding are from stricter states than NY. NY has NO specific law blocking move-aways. First and foremost. Second, it will be on a case by case basis how it's decided.
You are on Long Island? Suffolk or Nassau? I can give you the stats my attorney gave me which is that in Suffolk, a vast majority of the judges, given a solid case, WILL grant a move-away. There's one or two that are questionable which way they'll go.
You have, in my opinion, a solid case. Oh, one question, do you have anything in your divorce decree or Stipulation of Settlement (if you have one) that specifically says you have a RESTRICTION? If so, THAT could be a problem. If there's NOTHING? yeah, you have, again, in MY opinion, a solid case. Particularly given you will be moving BACK to NY. And yes, I totally understand what you're saying about the programs and NO, on Long Island Gr8, there are NOT such programs just readily available. To get OFF the island is a MINIMUM hour and a half drive. And for the type of program she's looking at, you can't do something online.
Hes not a particularly "hands on" parent, he's seeing the child a little bit over a day a week, so let's say 70 days a year, she's offering 45 alone during the summer, plus all breaks, so that adds another 15 minimum, so you're at 60, minimum. Just off the top of my head estimates. she's the vastly primary caregiver. Yeah, I don't see an issue quite frankly.
You have a GAL? And the GAL is okay with the move? Then you should be pretty set. If you DID go to trial?? A judge is likely going to go with what the GAL recommends. And if your ex has an attorney? He would tell him that. He may push you to go to trial, but ultimately? My guess is you will end up where I did. My story is I HAD move PERMISSION in my divorce. I only wanted to do a 200 mile move. My ex saw our child 7 hours (yes that's HOURS) a week and we missed 10 weeks or so a year b/c I was coming back here (my home state) ANYWAY. Never paid full child support and in fact was at the poverty status for about a year and a half and would never agree to get OUT of that status. Didn't take her overnights, yadda yadda. Sprang a court action to block the move on me. Cost me $9,000. We never went TO an actual trial. Spent 2 days in the hallways of the courthouse hammering out a schedule. Oh, with his FIRST wife and her boyfriend's input.. basically? They ran the show. It was quite interesting ;) Meanwhile? I had ALREADY moved. The judge, at the first appearance, refused to block it. But again, in my case, I had specific PERMISSION written into my agreement AND I also had sole legal custody. So realize that's a big factor in mine. In terms of case strength, I had a pretty rock solid case. But, I can understand your trepidation, even with a rock solid case, I was still nervous.
If I can help, please let me know. Do you have an attorney? What is the status of court filings and such?