As many New Jersey parents may know, after the parents of a child split up, the ensuing custody battle can extend far beyond the initial divorce decree. But even when there is no divorce involved, if the parents lock in their legal rights to parent the child, any requests to move that child may have to be approved by a family court. There may be some instances where the parents can work out a visitation schedule because employment issues may require more flexibility. When the income of one parent far exceeds that of the other, that parent’s income may dictate a more amicable discussion regarding relocation of a child for employment purposes.
But when income is not the issue and one parent has the financial wherewithal to live wherever he or she chooses, a judge may not view a request to move a child away from one parent as favorably. Without both parents’ approval, a judge may not view a request to uproot a child out of the country and away from the other custodial parent as being entirely in the best interest of the child. That appears to be the case for Halle Berry, who has been in a bitter custody dispute with her ex-boyfriend over the estranged couple’s 4-year-old child.
Last week, a judge denied Ms. Berry’s request to move the little girl to France, according to media reports. An investigation initiated by Ms. Berry against the child’s father, Gabriel Aubry claiming he had endangered the child was also dropped. The reason cited by Ms. Berry for moving her child was over fear for her life. Apparently there were a couple instances earlier this year; one involved a convicted stalker who has since been released from prison. The other involved a man who had threatened to cause great bodily harm to Ms. Berry and he escaped from the mental institution in February.
Ms. Berry filed her request for relocating her child in February. Family courts in New Jersey and elsewhere always look at what is in the best interest of the child when determining whether such requests should be approved. Apparently the judge in this case thought relocating the child to another country would interfere in the child’s relationship with her father. The judge may have determined that interfering in the parent-child relationship could cause harm to the child.
Source: E! News, “Halle Berry denied in court, not allowed to move daughter Nahla to France,” Brandi Fowler, Nov. 10, 2012
Our law firm helps families in transition through divorce, child custody and support issues and temporary custody and parenting-time orders and modification requests, similar to the parental relocation request discussed above.