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Freehold New Jersey Family Law Attorneys Assist Parents With Relocation

After a divorce or separation, a parent may relocate because of work or family commitments. At Lomurro Law, our family law attorneys are experienced in parental relocation claims and have the tools our clients need to obtain the results they want.

What Happens When A Custodial Parent Wants To Relocate In New Jersey?

In New Jersey, a parent may move out of state if the other parent consents or a court order has been issued that gives that parent permission to move. If both parents consent to the relocation, they should draft an agreement and have it notarized so that each parent has a copy for their records.

In many cases, however, the noncustodial parent, or the parent who does not have custody of the children, does not consent when the custodial parent wants to move away and take the children as well. In this situation, the custodial parent must file a petition in the New Jersey family court seeking permission to move, with the children, to another state. In some situations, the non-custodial parent may seek an order from the family court that prohibits the custodial parent from moving.

When the custodial parent seeks permission from the family court to move, that parent must demonstrate that there is a good faith reason to do so. A good faith reason would include

  • Job promotions
  • Moving closer to family members, or
  • Seeking a higher education.

The parent must also provide a reasonable plan for the children to have visitation with the non-custodial parent. The courts want to see that the non-custodial parent and the children will be able to maintain a strong relationship. The custodial parent may include several weeks in the summers and most school holidays, for example.

In the proposed plan, the custodial parent must describe the method of transportation the children will use – such as by plane – and which parent will pay for it, or if they will divide the costs evenly.

The plan should also include how often the children will be able to communicate with the non-custodial parent. The method of communication should also be noted, such as:

  • Text messaging
  • Phone calls
  • Skype, FaceTime and other video calls
  • Online chatting
  • Sending photos

Any method of communication is generally acceptable, so long as the parent and child are able to maintain their relationship.

If the noncustodial parent wants to fight the relocation, a reply certification must be filed that corrects any inaccurate statements the custodial parent has made and provides reasons why the children should not leave the state. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will mention general welfare, health, education, or other such reasons. For example, a parent may rightfully be concerned that a child is going to be uprooted in the middle of the school year and forced to make new friends in a new location.

The 12 Factors The Court Considers In A Relocation Case In New Jersey

In a relocation case, the New Jersey family courts will examine:

  • Why the custodial parent wants to move;
  • Why the non-custodial parent wants the children to stay in the state;
  • The parents’ history, both personally and in the courts;
  • The educational, health, and recreational resources available to the child in either state;
  • Each state’s resources that address any special needs of the children;
  • Whether the non-custodial parent will be able to maintain a relationship with the children;
  • The likelihood that the custodial parent will encourage a relationship between the non-custodial parent and the children;
  • The effect the move will have on the children’s relationships with extended family;
  • If the child is a teenager, that child’s preferences;
  • Whether the child is entering the senior year of high school;
  • Whether the noncustodial parent may be able to relocate, and
  • Any other factor that the court deems relevant.

After examining these factors, the court will decide as to whether the custodial parent may relocate the children to another state.

If You Need Assistance With A Parental Relocation Case In New Jersey, Call Today

At Lomurro Law, our New Jersey family law attorneys possess the skill and experience necessary to assist parents with numerous types of relocation cases. To schedule a consultation, call 732-482-9285 or contact us online.