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Tropea v. Tropea
New York Court of Appeals
665 N.E.2d 145 (1996)
In 1992, Tammy L. Tropea (plaintiff) and John P. Tropea (defendant) divorced. Tammy was awarded custody of the children. John was granted weekly and holiday visitations. The divorce decree provided that neither party could relocate outside of the county without obtaining court approval. The following year, Tammy became engaged and pregnant with her fiancé’s child. Tammy petitioned the court to allow her to relocate to the county in which her fiancé’s architecture firm was located and sought to modify the visitation arrangement because her new home would be two and a half hours away from John’s home, which would make weekly visits impossible. John opposed the potential move and filed for custody. The Judicial Hearing Officer (JHO) denied Tammy’s relocation request. The JHO found that John’s right to access his children would be unduly disrupted or substantially impaired and that Tammy did not bear her burden of showing that exceptional circumstances exist to warrant allowing the relocation. Tammy appealed. The appellate court applied a three step-analysis used to determine whether a custodial parent may relocate, and then it reversed the JHO. The appellate court then remitted the case to the family court, which determined a new visitation arrangement. John appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Titone, J.)
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