Patrick v. Patrick
A court can deny a parent's request to relocate with a minor child, absent evidence that the proposed relocation is for a legitimate purpose, that the proposed location is reasonable and that the proposed relocation is in the best interests of the minor child. In January 2012, the parties divorced and were granted joint legal custody of the 2-year-old child. In or about August 2012, the defendant wife allegedly began to make plans to relocate to another state. The wife found a part-time job and located a two bedroom residence near an elementary school in Georgia. The wife's family agreed to care for the minor child during the wife's parenting time. Currently, the wife spends only about 30 percent of her time in Connecticut. The wife requested the court's permission to relocate with the minor child to Georgia. The court found that the wife failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the proposed relocation is for a legitimate purpose, that the proposed location is reasonable and that the proposed relocation is in the best interests of the minor child. The court denied the mother permission to relocate with the minor child to another state, without the husband's written consent or an order of the court. "[The wife's] relocation with the child," wrote the court, "would have a significant impact on the existing parenting plan as well as the quantity and quality of the child's future contact with the respondent." The court ordered the parties to permit the minor child to contact either parent, at any reasonable time, regardless of which parent has visitation.