One of the most sensitive legal issues Hackensack couples face during a separation or divorce includes the time parents spend with children. In many child custody arrangements, one parent is the primary custodian while the other has visitation rights.
Divorce means former spouses can move ahead independently. However, New Jersey laws and courts oversee just how separately those lives are led when children are involved.
Judges encourage the continuation of strong parent-child relationships following divorce, including regular visitations by non-custodial parents. The relocation of either parent can interfere with that schedule. Generally, non-custodial parents are not bound by law when they wish to move, but custodial parent relocations are limited.
A custodial parent may move outside New Jersey only with the consent of a non-custodial parent or a court’s approval. There are exceptions when moving involves protecting a custodial parent or child from physical abuse by the non-custodial parent. Even when fear of harm is a motivator, the custodial parent must inform authorities within 24 hours to avoid possible criminal charges.
Keep in mind family law courts are extremely child-centric. A court may permit an out-of-state move if a custodial parent’s reasons to relocate are beneficial to the child.
A non-custodial parent’s consent – a written agreement is advisable — is sufficient for a custodial parent’s relocation, but getting permission can be difficult. A non-custodial parent has the right to ask a court to block a move. A parental relocation decision made by a judge is based on multiple factors, which an attorney can explain.
The custodial parent must show a move is in good faith and present a workable visitation plan. For example, a court may approve relocation if a custodial parent wishes to move to take a better job, as long as generous provisions are made for non-custodial parenting time. A lawyer can advise what provisions might help your case.
Source: Legal Services of New Jersey, “Can My Child Move Out of New Jersey?,” accessed July 01, 2015