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Child Custody Relocation in New Jersey

Raising a child with a co-parent will always involve compromise. Parents must reach a mutual decision on how their child will be educated, their religious upbringing, their extracurricular activities, and how any medical or psychiatric treatment will be handled. When parents divorce, they will also need to reach a mutual agreement on where each parent will live if they plan to share custody. Should the parent with whom the child lives (also known as the parent of primary residence) wish to move out of state for personal or professional reasons, they may face a legal challenge by the other parent (formally known as the parent of alternate residence).

Parents who wish to relocate out of New Jersey or who want to preserve their custodial time by preventing a move need the help of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney. The Englewood parental custody lawyers at Herbert & Weiss have been helping New Jersey parents protect their custodial rights before New Jersey Family Part judges for years. Contact our offices today to discuss your options when facing a child custody dispute.

New Jersey law requires consent before an out-of-state move

When divorced or separated parents share custody of their children, the parent of primary residence cannot move the children out of state without warning or permission. In order to relocate out of state, the parent must either receive their co-parent’s consent to the move or, if that parent doesn’t consent, must convince a judge that the move would be in the child’s best interests. In some cases, the parent of alternate residence may be willing to accept that the move would be good for the child and grant permission. Even with a parent’s consent, however, it may benefit both parents to put that agreement in writing to prevent a change of heart from foiling relocation plans or to protect the right of the parent to visitation with their out-of-state child.

Court permission may be needed before an out-of-state move

When a parent doesn’t consent to the other parent moving the child out of state, the parent seeking to move will need to file an application with the court for legal permission to move. Courts will permit an out-of-state move by a custodial parent only when the move is in the child’s best interests. This decision could include consideration of the following factors:

  • The child’s age
  • The amount of time that the parent spent with the child prior to the proposed move
  • Any history of abuse or safety considerations for the child, especially if the non-custodial parent poses a threat to either their co-parent or child
  • The moving parent’s willingness to allow and facilitate visitation
  • Any special needs or talents of the child that may be affected by a move (opportunities to study with special teachers, seek medical treatment from specialized physicians, etc.)
  • How a move might affect the child’s relationship with other family members
  • Whether the relocating parent will have a support network of family or friends in the new state
  • The relocating parent’s employment responsibilities
  • The child’s preference, depending on their age

Moving without a co-parent’s consent or court permission when a custody order is in effect could result in criminal charges for unlawful interference with parenting time. Get a seasoned attorney’s help in handling a New Jersey custody dispute by contacting the knowledgeable and effective family law attorneys at Herbert & Weiss for a consultation.

If you’re facing a family law dispute in New Jersey, get help from the compassionate, experienced, and professional Englewood custody dispute lawyers at Herbert & Weiss at 201-440-6300.

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