Criteria For International Removal Applications

In the seminal case of MacKinnon v. MacKinnon, the Supreme Court of New Jersey unanimously held that the legal standard for relocation established in case law by the 12-factor Baures test should also be utilized to adjudicate applications for international removal.  The Court held that both the interstate and international removal contexts involve the “same interests,” and thus the Baures test “appropriately balances the concerns implicated in either situation.”  MacKinnon v. MacKinnon, 191 N.J. 240 (2007).

The Court’s holding relied on its rationale that both interstate and international removal applications involve the “same interests,” particularly the ultimate issue of whether the child’s interests will suffer from the move.  Because the Baures factors can accommodate distinctions between interstate and international removal contexts, the Baures standard also provides “flexibility” to courts in determining the appropriateness of foreign removal.

Robert H. Siegel, Esq.