Sometimes, a custodial parent needs to move to a different city in order to stay close to family or take advantage of a job opportunity. But, a custodial parent cannot simply pack their bags and hit the road with their children. Here’s what parents need to know about relocating with children after a divorce:
How Relocating Affects the Parent-Child Relationship
Relocating can negatively affect the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent. If the child and non-custodial parent no longer live in the same city, they may not spend much–if any–time together. For this reason, many non-custodial parents do not want their children to move away.
Obtaining Permission to Relocate
The law states that custodial parents cannot relocate with their children unless they obtain permission from either the non-custodial parent or the court. If the non-custodial parent does not want his children to relocate, the custodial parent must take the case to court and let a judge decide.
In the past, the custodial parent needed to prove that there was a good reason for the move and that the move would not harm the child. If this wasn’t proven, the court would not grant the parent permission to relocate. But, new relocation rules went into effect in New Jersey in 2017. Now, the custodial parent must show that the move is in the best interests of the child.
The Best Interests of the Child
The change in relocation rules puts the focus on what’s best for the children, not the parents. The court will consider a number of factors when determining whether relocation is in the child’s best interests. Some of these factors include:
- The child’s preference
- The distance of the move
- The child’s living arrangements
- The parents’ willingness to co-parent and communicate with one another
- The impact the move will have on the child’s education and relationships with family and friends
If the relocation request is granted, the court must create a new parenting plan to account for the move. If the request is denied, the custodial parent is free to move, but he or she cannot take the children.
Are you involved in a relocation case? If so, the experienced attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC are ready to aggressively protect your child’s best interests. Contact our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at email@example.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation.