If you receive an offer to work at your dream job in another state or even in another part of New Jersey, you may find out that it is not as easy to relocate if you share a child with your former spouse or partner. Alternatively, if you find out that your former spouse has plans to move out of state with your child, you may be unsure about your options.
Fortunately, a skilled family law attorney could help you address any of these concerns. Our experienced Montclair relocation lawyers could help you request or fight this type of petition and protect your rights as a parent.
Before moving out of New Jersey with a shared child, the parent seeking the relocation must first obtain permission from the other party. In situations where the other parent will not permit this move, the parent who wants to relocate must obtain a court order or a modification to their existing agreement. In these cases, courts examine the existing parenting arrangement and consider how much time the parent seeking to relocate has with their child. The court also may look at the reasons for the move and how it could impact the child.
In situations with parents who share custody of their children, an out of state move by one party would force the other to lose their right to shared custody. If both parents have equal physical and legal custody of their children, the relocating party would need to demonstrate to the court that the proposed move is in the child’s best interests. Some of the factors that a court may consider include:
In these types of relocation cases, a Montclair attorney could help either party by presenting evidence that shows how the move may benefit or harm the child.
If the parent who has primary custody of a child wants to move out of state, this party must prove that they have a good faith reason for relocating and that it will not go against the child’s best interests. New Jersey courts do not want parents to move for the sole purpose of alienating a child from the other parent. Parents need to show that they have a valid reason for wanting to move, such as a new job, and that they are not trying to move solely to limit the other parent’s visitation rights.
Additionally, the courts may consider the child’s education, health, and social needs in the proposed move. The court also may determine whether the child will be able to maintain a relationship with the noncustodial parent if they move.
If the parent is able to establish that they have a good reason for moving and that the move will not negatively affect their child, then the court shifts the burden of proof to the opposing parent, who would need to present evidence justifying their opposition.
If a person wishes to move to another city or town within New Jersey, they generally do not need to obtain prior approval from the other parent or court. However, they may need to modify their custody or visitation arrangement if the move is so far away that it will inhibit them from meeting the terms of their existing agreement.
For example, if a father’s move will require a mother to drive too far to pick up their child, those parents may need to change their agreement. A local attorney could help one party draft a new proposed agreement in an in-state relocation case.
If you need to relocate, a dedicated legal representative could help you prove why the move is in the best interests of your child. Alternatively, if your former spouse is trying to relocate, one of our attorneys could work to safeguard your parental rights. Reach out to a Montclair relocation lawyer at our office today.