Can I Move Out of New York State with My Child?

Can I Move Out of New York State with My Child?

Congratulations on finalizing your divorce. You are on your way to creating a new happily ever after for you and your child(ren). If part of your new journey includes the desire to move out of state with your child, slow down, breathe, and take a pause before you sign that lease and pack your house. It’s not as simple as informing the child’s other parent that you are moving, an action that will land you in some serious legal waters. Instead, take these responsible steps to ensure your move is one that benefits your child and their future happiness.

Moving in a Mutually Agreed-Upon Situation

There are many reasons why a custodial parent may request permission from the child’s other parent to move out of state with their child. The non-custodial parent may agree to the move, but there are several factors to consider, with the foremost priority being what’s in the best interest of the child or children.

If you have a custody arrangement in place, you will need to get permission from the other parent or obtain a modification of the custody decree before you can move out of state. Even if the child’s non-custodial parent agrees to the move, you cannot simply pick up and go. Why? Because a move out of state changes the wording of your order of custody decree and needs to be amended and filed with the court. Even when both of the child’s parents agree, the move will change the nature of the original custody arrangement and must therefore be legally modified.

If you do not have a custody arrangement in place, you may need to establish one before you can legally move out of state with your child. It’s important to consult with a family law attorney who understands the state laws and terms of your custody arrangement, legal or verbal.

When the Move is Contested

In a contested hearing, the judge will determine if the reason for the request to move is a reasonable one. A custodial parent may ask to move out of state for any number of reasons such as a new job, a promotion, to be closer to family, or even a new relationship. A judge will decide if the reason is justified to approve the move.

If the move is based only on personal desire, out of spite for the other parent, or is determined not to be in the best interest of the child, the court can deny the request to move. Make sure you have a sound reason and are prepared to present your case.

Impact on Your Child

Your child must always come first when making decisions that affect both your futures. And a judge will ensure any decisions made are in the best of the child. Moving out of state may be deemed to negatively impact the child’s relationship with the other parent, current schooling agreement, healthcare, or the health of the child.

Weigh the pros and cons moving out of state will have on your child and consider the potential consequences before deciding.

When two parents, now former spouses, can come together to make an amicable decision that is in the best interest of all family members and especially the child, a change in location can be exactly what is needed for all family members to bloom and grow. So don’t approach this with pessimism. Approach it optimistically and legally.

If you or someone you know is considering moving out of state with a child, I invite you to contact me or one of the other qualified attorneys at The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates to schedule a consultation : (212) 792-9501.

Let Me Be Your Brave –

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Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner

Parental Alienation: The Pendency of Divorce

Parental Alienation: The Pendency of Divorce

Is your child’s other parent using negative manipulation to turn your child’s relationship with you against you?  This type of behavior common during the pendency of a divorce action or in post-divorce situations is what is known as parental alienation. One of the most difficult theories to prove in a child custody proceeding, this two-part series shares the tactical and legal steps you can take if you are the target of parental alienation.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is an event in which one parent actively weakens the relationship between the other parent and their child or children. At one end of the spectrum, is the parent who is the custodial or the primary parental figure in the child’s life. On the other end, is the parent who is not the primary figure, but is rather the seemingly powerful figure, who possibly holds all the money but definitely has the ability to invoke fear in the child.

One of the problems with parental alienation is you can only say it happened when the outcome is already there, such as your child rejecting your phone calls or refusing to visit. Typical manipulation of the alienating parent includes:

  • Bad-mouthing the other parent to the child.
  • Bad-mouthing the other parent to the community or other third parties.
  • Constantly telling the child how the divorce is hurting them, causing the child to feel judgmental or parental toward the alienated parent.

These purposeful and calculated attempts to estrange the child from the other parent are a form of emotional abuse of the child and may constitute parental alienation.

But know this, parental alienation is very hard to prove. It requires significant documentation, third-party evaluations, and showing the course of action that created the alienation. It is not in the best interest of any child to uproot them from the home they are settled in, so what can you do?

How to Counteract Parental Alienation

If you believe you are the subject of parental alienation, there are tactical steps you can take to mitigate the alienation. It is worth repeating that parental alienation is difficult to prove in our overburdened family and divorce courts. Prior to considering legal action, you must take every effort to counteract the alienation outside the courtroom.

Detachment: as counterintuitive as it sounds, parental alienation is mitigated when you detach from the emotional attack that’s being launched against you and your child. Some therapists call the withholding “narcissistic supply”. Narcissistic supply generally refers to the energy that certain manipulative people need to continue on with their course of the manipulation. They must achieve a payoff to succeed at their manipulation.

Validate and accept your child’s feelings: validate that the fear and confusion they feel are both real. After you validate their feelings, disarm their fear by reassuring your child absolutely everything will be okay. Give your child words of encouragement and voice your acceptance of your child’s feelings. Ignoring their feelings will only push them closer to the alienating parent.

Team up: work with a therapist and surround yourself with friends and family who strongly support you. And if a divorce is necessary, find a divorce attorney who is qualified to handle child custody and parental alienation.

Other Steps to Mitigate Parental Alienation

If, and only if, you have exhausted every effort, taken every avenue, and tried every tactic to mitigate parental alienation without success, it may be time to consider legal assistance. You must understand that the court will require concrete evidence of parental alienation before making any order.

In part two of the parental alienation series, we discuss the various legal steps that may be taken by the court depending on the situation. Ultimately, the court will always consider the best interests of the child as the main priority before making any decision.

Let Me Be Your BraveIf you or someone you know is going through parental alienation, I encourage you to act now. As an experienced attorney in divorce litigation and child custody, contact The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates to schedule an appointment today.

Let Me Be Your Brave!

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Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner
Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC.

Divorce Behaviors That Undermine Your Children, Part 3: Emotional Wellbeing

Divorce Behaviors That Undermine Your Children, Part 3: Emotional Wellbeing

Here we are, part 3 of this 3-part series, and this is the MOST IMPORTANT TAKEAWAY because divorce is a life-altering event in anyone’s life story. Regardless of how you feel about your spouse, divorce is about your children, and nothing else is more important. Divorces are often angry, stressful, and upsetting. Your children are not the source of those feelings, and it is your job to ensure your child thrives during YOUR divorce process. So let’s talk about the affirmative actions you need to take to help the ones you love most – your precious children.


Countless professionals say it’s not the divorce that affects children, but the way the spouses manage the divorce. In high-conflict situations, children’s emotional responses are highly influenced by watching how their parents act and communicate during the divorce process. Allow your children to show their emotions and encourage them to talk about how they are feeling.

Speak With Them – not at them. Hold an interactive conversation. Divorce is confusing and your child will have questions. Let them talk about the divorce, ask questions, and then provide answers that are age-appropriate, respectful, balanced, and unbiased. Do not trash-talk your spouse. You and your spouse will go your separate ways after the divorce, but each of you is still your child’s parent.

It’s Not Their Fault – divorce is the decision of the parents, but children often feel guilty. It is your job to reassure them that it is not their fault. Your child needs to know both parents love him/her and have their back, no matter what your true feelings are toward your ex-spouse.

Their Feelings Are Valid – Are you listening to your child? Avoid the temptation to reframe or recharacterize their feelings. Engage a counselor to give your child a safe space to talk about the divorce. As they grow and develop, these positive encouragements teach children how to work through difficult situations. Counseling is a great resource for the parents as well, to help them navigate the process and work through their own feelings during the transition.

All Things with Love – There was a time when love brought you and your spouse together. A time when the birth of your child was celebrated. Reassure your child that you both love them and will be there for them even after the divorce is finalized. Then act on it. The more amicable you keep your divorce now, the easier the graduations and weddings will be years from now.

Build a positive relationship with your ex to honor your children and their welfare. Move forward with integrity, dignity, and strength. Your children are watching and learning. Choose to be empowered. Empowered parents raise empowered children.

At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation: (212) 792-9501.

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Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner


Divorce Behaviors That Undermine Your Children, Part 2: The Middle Pawn

Divorce Behaviors That Undermine Your Children, Part 2: The Middle Pawn

Now that you’ve read part 1 of this 3-part series, KEEP READING because divorce is challenging and cannot be addressed in one blog. Even “amicable” divorces can be difficult to navigate. In high-conflict divorces, tensions are high, and the gloves come off, but it’s your child that suffers most because of the continued animosity between you and your child’s other parent. Using your child as a pawn is undermining and manipulative behavior that puts children into a dangerous psychological tailspin. Control your emotions purposefully and model your emotional management skills for your kids.


Listen up parents, your children are not a negotiation tool. You may not realize you are putting your child in the middle, but it is an all-too-common occurrence.  Can you identify with any of these damaging divorce behaviors?

The Blame Game

There’s a dangerous pronoun in divorce – ‘Your’.

“Your father did this to me.” “Your father is a cheater.”
“Your mother told this lie.” “Your mother gave up.”

The problem with ‘your’ is it’s possessive. You have shifted the blame to include your child. Airing your grievances to them is selfish and hurtful. Your child is half you and half the other parent. When you speak against your spouse you are putting your child down as well.  Hold your tongue and save the venting for your inner circle.

False Promises

You do not need to buy your child’s love. Do everyone a favor and skip the special treats, the new puppy, and the randomly purchased gifts given with intention of buying their love. These behaviors teach children how to manipulate others, deceive, and use material things to get what they want.

Who Do You Like Best

Are you really expecting your child to pick one parent over the other? Did you really ask them to say who they want to live with? Children caught in a contentious divorce often feel pressure to choose, and you might be surprised to find that putting this decision on them will only make them resent you.


If your soon-to-be ex wants to go on vacation will you manipulate your schedule to prevent it? Do you alienate your children from your former in-laws and relatives? You may think your actions are only hurting your ex, but the reality is that you are punishing your kids as well.


Divorce is difficult for children, and your behavior will impact their physical and mental well-being. Let me ask this, are you guilty of any of these behaviors in front of your child?

  1. Arguing with your spouse
  2. Spousal silent treatment
  3. Discussing adult matters
  4. Physical altercations
  5. Needlessly calling the police (the lowest of the low!)

Children dealing with a tense home environment due to parents going through a divorce can lead to:

  • Depression, social withdrawal, regression
  • Troubles concentrating in school
  • Anger, bullying, defiance
  • Loss of sleep or sleeping too much
  • Inability to handle conflict
  • Physical pain from anxiety or stress

Children with positive co-parents experience less depression and anxiety. Manage your intentions and your emotions. Your sole focus during the divorce should be your child’s best welfare. Be a team with a superpower for good, not a team set on being destroyed by divorce.  An empowered parent raises empowered children.

At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation: (212) 792-9501.

divorce lawyer_female divorce attorney

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner

Are you considering divorce and think mediation may be the right option for you and your family? Contact the Law Firm of Poppe & Associates today to schedule a consultation to talk with an attorney about whether mediation or litigation is the right fit for your situation. 

Divorce Behaviors That Undermine Your Child Part 1: Publicizing and Sharing

Divorce Behaviors That Undermine Your Child Part 1: Publicizing and Sharing

If you are considering divorce or are pursuing one, YOU MUST READ this 3-part series to ensure the well-being of your child. Most children have the resiliency to overcome the challenges of divorce, but when it becomes a high-conflict situation, it’s incumbent upon you to use emotional management, especially when your kids are around. The damage to your child is not always the divorce itself, but rather it is the continued animosity between you and your spouse that they witness. Be the rock in your child’s life and avoid these destructive divorce behaviors.


Note to self… push back from the keyboard – “don’t do it!” Taking it public to share the heartache, anger, and everything the former spouse “did to you.” I call this the “Parade of Horribles.” Divorce affects everything you and your spouse are integrated with, including your child.

Take a look at Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. In 2016, Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt, then used her star status to unleash the media. At the heart of it was a custody battle, claims of an unfair trial, an unqualified judge, new court petitions bouncing back and forth, and dragging her ex through the mud. Six years later, and still no resolution. It doesn’t matter who you believe, the true victims are their six children caught in the middle. Used as pawns in the public eye, and most of them are old enough to read about it online.

Keep the details of your divorce private from the public domain. Uphold your integrity and rise above your need to publicly vent. Choose to protect your child over getting even.


It’s never pretty, in fact, it’s accurate to describe it as “parents gone wild.”

Parental Alienation – Most likely you feel hurt, tempting you to villainize your spouse online. We all understand that we don’t post online when we’ve had too many glasses of wine. The same is true when you are angry. Blasting accusations can be reasonably calculated to put your child in the line of your divorce fire. Your emotions can cause them to feel guilty. So, choose not to do that.

Bullying – Online gossip spreads like fire and gets more exaggerated with each telling. Your divorce may be entertaining for others, but it can cause serious harm to your child. Children who are exposed to aggressive behaviors at home often transfer this conduct to others. Those in high-conflict divorces have a higher risk of losing relationships with friends, family, and especially a non-resident parent, usually the father. [i]

Predators – Your sole responsibility is to protect your child, and with 5 billion people on the internet, there’s reason for concern. Every day predators search the internet for that lost child looking for a friend to console them about their parent’s divorce. Posting your problems online places your child at risk for predators who are quick to be that needed confidant. Keep your divorce offline. Period.


Posting about your split online can negatively influence the divorce process and impact your own reputation.

Financial Sharing – Remember, your online posts can be used against you in court. Are you exposing confidential information or revealing private financial details?

Spousal Blasting – Watch what you say. Spouting vengeance and accusations in a moment of anger can result in a defamation claim.

Unsolicited Opinions – It’s important to surround yourself with a strong network of support and not open the door to 500 opinions of people you barely know.

Evidence – Anything you say can, and will, be held against you in a court of law. Got it?

There are many reasons to fight with your soon-to-be ex, but I encourage you to drop your weapons. Burdening the community, you, your child, and the other parent is simply a bad idea. Choose to walk through your divorce with integrity. It’s the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child thrives during the divorce.

Mitigate the social and psychological impact on your child. Embrace positive communications with your spouse and keep it private! It’s healthy for your child long-term and shows the courts you both can communicate and maintain an agreeable relationship.

At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation: (212) 792-9501.

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner

Are you considering divorce and think mediation may be the right option for you and your family? Contact the Law Firm of Poppe & Associates today to schedule a consultation to talk with an attorney about whether mediation or litigation is the right fit for your situation.