Compassionate Representation

Factors Considered In New Jersey Relocation Cases

After a New Jersey divorce a custodial parent may wish to relocate to another State for a variety of reasons such as a family support system, a better employment situation or even a remarriage. It is certainly understandable that a custodial parent may seek a better overall living situation for himself/herself post-divorce, but he or she cannot do so if it will negatively affect the non-custodial parent’s relationship with the child. If you are a custodial parent seeking to relocate post-divorce you should seek the advice of a New Jersey attorney with experience in relocation cases to develop a plan to litigate your case.

Understanding Relocation Cases

Under the laws of New Jersey a custodial parent may not remove a child who is a native of the State, or who has lived here for five years, without the consent of the non-custodial parent or an Order of the Court. If, as a custodial parent, you are seeking to relocate you must first demonstrate to the Court that: you have a good faith reason for the move which is not simply to punish the non-custodial parent; and, the move will not harm the child. Once you have met this initial threshold the burden shifts to the non-custodial parent to show that the request to move is not being made in good faith and/or the move will harm the child.In assessing a custodial parent’s request to relocate the Court is also required to address additional factors. They are:
  • Reasons given for the move;
  • Reasons given by the non-custodial parent for opposing the move;
  • The history between the parties as it relates to the positions of the parties in supporting/opposing the move;
  • Will the child have access to educational, health, and recreational activities at least equal to what the child enjoys in New Jersey;
  • Whether there are equal or superior accommodations for children who have specific needs or talents available in the new state;
  • The ability of the parties to develop a parenting time schedule that will allow the non-custodial parent to maintain a full and continuous relationship with the child;
  • The likelihood that the custodial parent will foster the children’s relationships with the non-custodial parent once the move takes place;
  • The effect of said move on the ability of the parties to have a continuous relationship with extended families;
  • Children’s preference (depending on age);
  • If a child is approaching his or her senior year in high school, a move should generally not be permitted until after graduation;
  • The ability of the non-custodial parent to move;
  • Any other factor bearing on the children’s best interest.

The weight the Court will place upon any of the above mentioned factors will vary from case to case so it is important that you and your attorney discuss each factor to determine how to present your case to the Court.

Contact Us To Understand How Your Relocation Affects Your Custody

Any situation involving a custodial parent seeking to relocate post-divorce is both complicated and tedious. It is crucial to have an advocate who understands all of the facets and can give you sound advice. Call our Hazlet attorneys at 732-201-3888 today or fill out our online contact form.