Justice Thomas Mercure

Mother Corey Weber appeals from a Family Court order granting father Michael’s application to modify a prior custody order and permitted him to relocate with the subject child. Michael had sole custody of the child with supervised visitation granted to Corey. Michael sought, and was granted, permission to relocate to Illinois. Corey was granted joint custody, and visitation with Michael bearing the cost of transporting the child to New York. The court noted while the move would distance the child from Corey and his extended maternal family, he would be raised with his cousins and receiving care from his paternal grandmother and aunt. It stated that while the record showed Corey had a close bond with the child, she struggled with “a generalized anxiety disorder and alcohol abuse” leading to the requirement for supervised visitation. Thus, the court ruled, given the totality of the circumstances, including the economic enhancement for the child from Michael’s increase in pay and the greater job stability resulting from the move, and the child’s chance to bond with his paternal extended family, yet enjoying meaningful contact and visitation with Corey, the relocation was in the child’s best interests. Hence, it affirmed the order.