Terestenyi v. Dinsart
A parent who requests court permission to relocate possesses the burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that relocation is for a legitimate purpose, that the proposed location is reasonable and that relocation is in the best interests of the minor child. The parties divorced in 2008, and the plaintiff husband re-married the children's former nanny. Previously, the court found that the plaintiff husband established a substantial change in circumstances, after he lost his job, and it temporarily reduced support to $157 per week. The defendant wife, who has been the primary caretaker of the minor children, with whom she is closely bonded, requested permission to relocate with the minor children to Denmark, because she is engaged to a Dane. The older children, who previously attended school in Denmark, expressed the desire to attend school in Copenhagen. The plaintiff husband objected. The court found that the wife's decision to marry a Dane was a legitimate reason to relocate and that the minor children will benefit from the education that they will receive in Denmark. The court rejected the plaintiff husband's claim that expert testimony was required, to prove that the children will benefit from an education in Denmark. Evidence in the record failed to support the husband's claim that the wife unduly influenced the minor children. It is reasonable that the minor children prefer to remain with the wife. The plaintiff husband traveled a great deal during the marriage, and the children apparently became accustomed to seeing the father relatively infrequently, especially after the wife relocated with the minor children to Maryland. Although the plaintiff husband will have less contact with the minor children as a result of a move to Denmark, that is not a good reason to deny permission to relocate.