Relocating With a Child After Divorce in NJ

Child custody cases are complicated matters on their own. However, when the custodial parent wants to move out of state with the child, the case becomes even more complex. In most situations, parents have worked to establish an ongoing and positive relationship with their children. Relocation has a major impact on the child, including a disruption of established relationships, academics, and more. Sometimes, this impact can be quite negative. Even when a parent has sole custody, the unfit parent may be working towards rebuilding trust and mending broken relationships. When relocation comes into play and a parent is facing the thought of his or her child being far out of reach, the topic can be too much to bear. New Jersey family courts will always act in the best interests of the child. Relocation is no exception. If a court decides that the move does not serve the best interests of the child, the court may rule against the custodial parent. Every case is different and when relocation is disputed, the judge will always have the child’s interests in mind.

What factors are considered in relocation?

In 2017, the state of New Jersey decided that a parent can only relocate with a child if the move is truly in the child’s best interest. The custodial parent will have to prove why the move is in the best interest of the child, not simply in their own best interests. This can be challenging and often requires the help of an experienced family law attorney. Some of the many factors that the courts will assess in a relocation case include the following:

  • The bond with each parent
  • The impact of the move on the noncustodial parent
  • The impact of the move on the extended family
  • The disruption to the child’s social and academic life
  • The reason for the move
  • The reason the noncustodial parent opposes it
  • The impact on the quality of life for the child and parent
  • The economic, educational, and any other unforeseen implications of the move

Oftentimes, the noncustodial parent will object the move so it is important that you are prepared for this as a possibility. Be sure to consult an attorney.

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