As a parent, you may want to relocate with your child for various reasons. Perhaps there is a new job, remarriage, desire to be closer to family, or better educational opportunity for your child. In New Jersey, if there is a parenting plan or custody order in place, you may need the other party’s consent or the court’s permission before moving within or out of the state.
When considering a relocation request, the court must put your child’s interests first while balancing your right to move against the other parent’s right to a relationship with the child. A Livingston relocation lawyer could explain the intricacies of family law and the factors to consider when deciding whether a move is the best option for you and your child.
A parent will likely need court permission to relocate within New Jersey if there is a parenting plan in effect and the move would disrupt that plan. The further a potential relocation, the more likely it is that parenting plans will be disrupted, and the more necessary it is to obtain proper documentation.
Under New Jersey Statute 9:2-2, a parent who wants to relocate with their child out of the state must have consent from the other parent or obtain a court order granting them permission to move. If a parent is fleeing an immediate risk of harm to themselves or their child by the other parent, they must report the move within twenty-four hours and provide reasoning for their urgent relocation.
Moving with a child without satisfying one of these conditions may subject the relocating parent to legal challenges. A skilled relocation attorney in the area could discuss options for parents looking to move to another state from New Jersey.
The evidence requirements for parents looking to relocate have recently changed. It is essential to understand the standard that will now apply in New Jersey relocation cases.
For years it was relatively easy for a custodial parent to move out of state with their child. If the parent had a legitimate reason to move and demonstrated that the child would not be adversely affected, the courts reasoned that what was suitable for the custodial parent was probably also right for the child.
In 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court changed the law in Bisbing v. Bisbing, 230 N.J. 309, concluding that the fairest way to decide a parent’s move out of state is to prioritize the child’s best interests, similar to other custody matters. A parent’s individual desire to move became a secondary consideration. Showing that relocation will not harm the child is no longer sufficient in court, and a parent and their Livingston attorney must now demonstrate that moving is what is best for their child.
When and how far a parent can relocate with a child hinges on the child’s best interests. To make a “best interests” determination, a judge may consider several factors, as outlined in N.J.S. 9:2-4:
Relocation cases can be trying for both parents and children. Before you undertake a court battle, you may want to seek a mental health professional’s help to evaluate the potential effects of the proposed move on your child. A well-prepared attorney could recommend an appropriate evaluator and help weigh the pros and cons of relocation based on your case.
If you want to move with your child, it is a good idea to learn the local relocation requirements. A Livingston relocation lawyer could explain how the New Jersey standard applies to your case and what steps are necessary to comply with the law. Reach out today to speak with one of our firm’s skilled legal professionals.