Matter of M.S. v. W.S.
Judge Bernard Cheng
Mother sought to relocate to Florida with the parties' two children. Her prior application to a different judge for the same relief was denied. Thus, while the prior judge did not prohibit the move, she denied the petition to relocate with the children. Despite that, mother relocated to be with her boyfriend. She now petitioned the court to permanently relocate claiming it was in the children's best interest, and arguing a change in circumstances. The court ruled mother failed to show an unanticipated change in circumstances. It further noted mother's decision to take lower paying employment in Florida gave the court "serious reservations" about her true reasons for the relocation. Also, the court found the relocation was not motivated by educational opportunities, and its impression was that the children had no emotional ties to Florida. Thus, it concluded, by a preponderance of the credible evidence, that it would not be in the children's best interest to relocate as it would essentially end their relationship with their father as both parties were of limited means rendering a practical travel schedule unworkable. Also, as mother failed to show a financial necessity to relocate, the court denied the petition.