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How Does a NJ Court Handle Relocation Cases?

If you are interested in learning more about how a court handles relocation cases in New Jersey, read on and reach out to our skilled Morris County relocation attorneys today.

Can a parent with sole or primary custody relocate with their child?

For a parent with sole or primary physical custody to legally move their lives and their children out-of-state, they will need to demonstrate that the move is being done “in good faith.” This implies that the move is not inspired by a desire to limit the other parent’s custody or visitation rights and that the move will not harm the children involved. Keep in mind that when it comes to children and New Jersey law, courts will always make their decisions based on the child’s best interest, and not necessarily what is in the particular parent’s best interest.

Adequate reasons for relocation can include the following:

  • A new job or employment opportunity
  • Relocating to be closer to extended family
  • Better educational opportunities for the children

If you and your attorney can establish that there is a valid reason for the relocation, and provide a practical plan which permits the non-custodial parent the possibility for visitation and parenting time, you can approvingly settle your relocation petition.

If you are a non-custodial parent encountering a relocation petition, you and your Chatham child custody attorney can try to demonstrate to the courts that the relocation is not, in fact, in good faith, and that the opportunities and services known to your children in the new location are more harmful than in their current location, or that the proposed visitation plan will not permit the child to maintain a close relationship with you. It is important to recognize, however, that current child custody law firmly favors the rights of the custodial parent to make decisions on where the children will live.

Can a parent with joint custody relocate?

The conditions for obtaining court approval for the relocation of a parent with shared legal and physical custody are much higher. In the event that the parent who is not relocating objects to the relocation, a full court hearing and review will be required, at the end of which the court will designate one parent as the primary custodial parent, with who the children will live. The primary custodial parent can be either the relocating parent or the parent who is not moving.

Keep in mind that if you wish to have a strong parental relationship and custody of your children moving forward, you hire the legal counsel of a skilled Morris County child custody relocation attorney during this procedure.

What will a custody attorney consider when looking at a relocation case?

When hearing and determining a child relocation case, the courts will always rule in favor of the child’s best interest. Factors that can impact this decision include:

  • Educational opportunities for the child
  • The child’s ability to hold a relationship with the other parent after the move
  • Whether the child has special needs or abilities which can be kept in either location
  • The move’s effect on the child’s relationship with extended family
  • The child’s personal preferences (if the child is of sufficient age and maturity)
  • Whether the parent who is not relocating might be able to also relocate to keep their relationship with their child


If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.