A final divorce decree is intended to fully resolve all issues pertaining to the divorce, including apportionment of shared property, establishing child support, and determining child custody. In reality, after a divorce, people move on with their lives. People get new jobs, enter new relationships, and continually make decisions concerning the next steps in their lives. If you get a new job in a different city, or if you otherwise have some incentive to move to a new location, can you take your kids with you? How do you deal with your existing custody arrangement? Read on to learn about child relocation in New Jersey, and talk to a seasoned Englewood child custody and parental rights attorney for help with a New Jersey family law matter.
You Are Bound by the Custody Arrangement
The custody and parenting time arrangement that forms part of your final divorce judgment has the force of law behind it. You cannot unilaterally modify that arrangement. If you want to, for example, move to another state or take more parenting time than you are currently allotted, you will need to obtain permission from your co-parent or the court.
Moving Within the State is Different From Out-of-State
Typically, if a parent wishes to relocate out-of-state and bring shared children with them, they need permission from their co-parent or the court. The burden for seeking to relocate was raised in the last few years, making it more difficult to move out of state even for the parent of primary residence (PPR). Now, the moving parent must prove that moving to a new state is in the best interests of the child based on a variety of factors, including the extent to which communication and parenting time with the other parent will be maintained after the move.
Moving within the state may or may not require permission from either your co-parent or the court. The question turns on whether you can maintain the same custody arrangement after the move. If you stay within the state and you can keep up the same schedule–for example, alternating custody weekends or keeping up regular visitation with your child’s other parent–then you should be able to make your move without difficulty. If, however, you are moving far enough away that your current custody plan will be disrupted, you will likely need permission to make the move.
The best approach is to reach an agreement with your co-parent wherever possible and avoid getting the court involved. Even if you are only moving a few cities away, your custody arrangement can become more complicated. Talk to your co-parent and see if you can work out an adjustment to the plan that keeps you both on equal footing but allows you to make the move. Always remember to keep the health and wellbeing of your children at the forefront of your plans and your discussions; moving can be challenging for them as well.
Get the Help You Deserve With a New Jersey Child Custody Matter
If you’re considering divorce in New Jersey or dealing with child support, child custody, property division, or other family law issues, contact the Englewood family law attorneys Herbert & Weiss at (201) 500-2151.