Dad Wins Relocation Case

Patricia and Michael Martin met in 2002 and were married in 2004. Shortly after their son was born in 2007, Patricia discovered that Michael was having an affair.

Patricia filed for divorce in New Hampshire and asked the court to let her relocate with the son to Rhode Island where her parents lived. The court said no and she appealed.

New Hampshire law provides that the parent seeking permission to relocate bears the initial burden of demonstrating, by a preponderance of the evidence, that (a) The relocation is for a legitimate purpose; and (b) The proposed location is reasonable in light of that purpose.

Patricia argued that her legitimate reason for wanting to relocate was her needs for emotional and financial support from her Rhode Island family.

However, the court noted she had a full time job in New Hampshire, and no comparable job prospects in Rhode Island.  As for the emotional support, Patricia’s counseling records indicated that she did not have a strong relationship with her parents in the past.  The court found that the primary reason Patricia wanted to move was to avoid interaction with the father and to get away from him.

In re Martin, No. 2009-556, (New Hampshire Supreme Court, August 19, 2010)