Child custody and parenting time can become contentious when parents split up. As in all states, New Jersey courts make an effort to reduce the hostility and foster a loving and nurturing relationship between the children and both parents. This can become complicated when one parent moves away with the child. For more information on the relocation laws of New Jersey, please read on, then contact one of our experienced relocation and child custody attorneys in Bergen County, NJ. Some questions you may have include:
Do the relocation laws of New Jersey allow my ex to just take my child anywhere?
Per Garden State law, if either parent wishes to move a child out of state he or she will require permission from the other parent or the courts. The statute applies to a minor child born in the state or who has lived in the state for at least five years. Before 2017, a custodial parent would not have had much difficulty moving the child out of state so long as he or she could prove he or she had a legitimate reason for the move and that it would not adversely affect the child. In Bisbing v. Bisbing, 230 N.J. 309 (2017), the New Jersey Supreme Court overhauled the existing criteria for deciding whether to grant a request to move a child out of state. As a result, what serves the custodial parent’s best interests no longer necessarily serves the child’s best interests.
What is the standard for moving a child out of state in New Jersey?
In its ruling, as outlined above, the New Jersey Supreme Court reasoned that to decide the issue of removing a child from the state, one must apply the same standard used in determining custody matters in general, i.e. what serves the best interests of the child.
How does a New Jersey family court determine if a move out of state is in a child’s best interests?
The law lists several factors the judge should consider when making the best interests determination. These factors include:
- The parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child
- The parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time, when not based on substantiated abuse
- The interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings
- Any history of domestic violence
- The safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent
- The child’s preference, when the child has the capacity to make an intelligent decision
- The child’s needs
- The stability of the home environment offered by the parents
- The quality and continuity of the child’s education
- The parents’ fitness to exercise custody
- The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
- The extent and quality of the time spent with the child before or after the separation
- The parents’ employment responsibilities, and
- The age and number of the children
Whether you want to relocate or prevent a relocation, speak with one of our skilled child custody attorneys in Bergen County, NJ today.
Contact our experienced Bergen County firm
To speak with our team of family law lawyers today, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.