Oftentimes, a divorced parent will want to relocate with children shared with the other parent in child custody arrangements subject to court orders. A relocation may be based on accepting a better job offer, on a remarriage, on moving closer to extended family, or some other factor the parent feels is in his or her best interests. As the parent who wishes to move, you may feel this is not only better for you but will be better for your children. However, the ability to relocate while subject to a child custody arrangement approved by the court is a complex matter that may need to be resolved only through the New Jersey courts.
If you are in the above situation or have any other legal matter regarding child custody in Somerset County, it is to your advantage to consult with a skilled attorney at De Tommaso Law Group. Our supportive legal team has over 125 years of shared legal experience in family law. Our firm handles these types of issues on a daily basis both inside and outside family law courtrooms. Our extensive experience gives you the unique benefit of a team that has successfully resolved even the most complicated custody and other family law issues throughout the area.
How Relocation Affects Child Custody Arrangements in New Jersey
The matter of how relocation can affect your child custody arrangement is a complex one. The first thing to remember is that your custody arrangement is part of your divorce decree. Your divorce decree is a court order. Court orders are legally binding which means you must adhere to them or you will be violating the law.
Relocation Within the State
If your relocation is within the state of New Jersey and the move does not interfere with the court order arrangements of custody, you will likely be fine to go ahead. However, if the move is far enough away that it does interfere with arrangements for the other parent, you will have to get his or her permission to relocate. You will also have to come up with a new parenting plan arrangement based on your relocation that the other parent agrees with. This new arrangement can then be submitted to the court for approval. You cannot change custody arrangements/parenting plans on your own. If the other parent disagrees with the new arrangement, the matter will have to be taken to court.
Relocation Outside the State
If your planned relocation is to another state, you are subject to New Jersey Revised Statute Title 9 Section 9:2-2 that applies to children who have been born in New Jersey or who have resided there for five years. This law generally states that a relocation requires the consent of both parents when that relocation is a “removal from jurisdiction.”
In such cases, you must obtain either:
- The other parent’s permission to remove the child or
- An order from the court that grants you the right to remove the child
You can get permission in writing (and notarized) from the other parent if the parent is in agreement with the relocation. This can then be submitted to the court along with an explanation as to why the move is needed and how it will serve the best interests of the child. This will trigger the need for a new parenting plan schedule to also be submitted to the court. If the other parent is in disagreement with the proposed move or how it will affect his or her parenting time, you will have to take the matter to court to be decided. Family courts no longer prioritize what is best for the relocating parent but what is in the best interests of the child. Only the court can approve or disapprove a new custody/parenting plan arrangement.
Need Help with Relocation or Another Custody Matter?
De Tommaso Law Group is here to provide the legal assistance you need with any family law matter. Child custody issues can be especially challenging and sticky. Having the guidance of a competent attorney can increase your understanding of the law and how it affects your situation as well as provide you with a skilled advocate who knows how to fight for your objectives and rights, both in the courtroom and at the negotiation table.
Contact a family lawyer at (908) 274-3028 or online to discuss your legal needs today.