The Fourth Department, reversing Family Court, determined mother’s petition for permission to relocate with the child should not have been dismissed without a hearing:
In this proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 6, we agree with petitioner mother that Family Court erred in summarily granting respondent father’s motion to dismiss her petition to relocate with the parties’ child to the Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District or Livingston County. A prior custody order entered upon the consent of the parties provided that the mother and the father had joint custody of the child with primary physical residence with the mother, and restricted the mother’s residency to certain towns within Monroe County. “Generally, [d]eterminations affecting custody and visitation should be made following a full evidentiary hearing’ ” … , and we conclude that the allegations in the mother’s petition “established the need for a hearing on the issue whether [her] relocation is in the best interests of the child” … .
The mother was not required to demonstrate a change of circumstances inasmuch as she sought permission to relocate with the subject child … . Further, the mother adequately alleged in her petition that relocation was in the best interests of the child inasmuch as she alleged that the cost of housing would be lower in Livingston County, that the child’s maternal grandfather would be able to assist the mother with childcare upon her relocation allowing her to return to work, and that the relocation would not interfere with the father’s visitation schedule. The court was therefore required to determine whether the proposed relocation was in the child’s best interests by analyzing the factors set forth in Matter of Tropea v Tropea (87 NY2d 727, 739-741  …). Matter of Johnston v Dickes, 2019 NY Slip Op 09208, Fourth Dept 12-20-19