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When parents separate or get divorced, there is always the possibility that one parent may have to move far away (including out of state) for any number of reasons, such as job opportunities or the need to be closer to elderly parents. When the parent of primary physical custody or primary residence is the parent who wants or needs to move and he or she proposes to take the parties’ children with him or her, he or she will need to follow New Jersey’s relocation rules. The law requires the parent seeking to relocate to either gain the other parent’s consent to the move, or file a petition to seek the court’s approval.
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If you are looking to move out of state with your children or you want to oppose your former spouse or partner moving out of state with your children, the experienced New Jersey relocation attorneys at Team Law can help you negotiate a resolution with your former partner or spouse or advocate your position to the court. Contact our firm today for a no-cost initial case evaluation to talk to one of our experienced attorneys about the law governing relocation and to learn more about your options.
For many years, courts in New Jersey allowed for out-of-state relocations with children subject to joint custody arrangements, so long as the parent of primary residence was seeking to relocate in good faith (such as a new job) and the court found that the move was not inimical to the child’s interests. However, in 2017 the New Jersey Supreme Court replaced this standard with a best interests analysis in relocation cases where parents have joint legal custody. Now, courts are required to consider the following factors when ruling on a parent’s relocation request:
These factors are nearly identical to the factors that courts must consider when making any custody arrangement determination. The “best interests” analysis is also a higher standard to meet than the previous standard for evaluating a relocation request, since the question is no longer whether the move benefits the parent requesting relocation, but whether relocation is in the child’s best interests.
If you are a parent of primary physical custody or primary residence and your professional or personal life requires you to move out of New Jersey, you may seek to move with your children. Or if your ex-spouse or -partner is contemplating such a move with your children, you may not want to lose your ability to regularly spend time with your children and be a part of their lives’ events. Any request to relocate with children subject to a custody order must be evaluated under the standard of whether such a move is in the children’s best interests, regardless of whether the move is in the custodial parent’s best interest (or even if not moving may be inimical to the custodial parent’s interests).
When you choose Team Law to help you in your child custody relocation matter, you can trust that our attorneys will balance achieving your goals in your matter with protecting your children’s interests and rights to have both of their parents fully involved in their lives. We can help you reach a settlement with your former partner or spouse in negotiation or mediation, or we can advocate on your behalf in court.
If you are looking to relocate out of state with your child or your former partner is seeking to move with your child, you need experienced legal representation on your side to help protect your rights and interests and also ensure that your child’s best interests are protected. Schedule a free, no-obligation case review with Team Law today to speak with one of our New Jersey family law attorneys about your legal rights and options in a relocation proceeding.
No. Under New Jersey law, a separated parent may only move with the parties’ child out of state either with the other parent’s consent, or with an order of the court granting the parent permission to relocate outside of New Jersey with the parties’ child. If your child’s parent wants to move outside of New Jersey without your consent, he or she will need to petition the court for permission to move with your child.
If your child’s other parent relocates with your child a considerable distance away in New Jersey or outside of New Jersey, that relocation may constitute changed circumstances that warrant modification of your custody arrangement. You may be entitled to argue for longer or extended periods of custody or visitation, particularly when your child may be on vacation from school, to account for extended distances that may make it difficult for you to exercise frequent overnight or weekend parenting time.
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Family Law Information Center