If you are like many other people who have finalized their divorces, you may wish to start over. Part of your plan to start over includes moving out of New Jersey and into a brand-new location. However, you and your ex share a child and that will complicate matters. If you hope to relocate with your child, you will still need to adhere to child custody relocation laws. For more information on moving out of New Jersey with your child, please continue reading, then contact one of our experienced Monmouth County relocation attorneys today.
Can I relocate from New Jersey with my child?
Per N.J.S.A. 9:2-2, neither you nor your ex may remove your child from New Jersey without each other’s consent, unless the court, upon being shown cause, shall order otherwise. In other words, you may not just pick up stakes and head off. Until a few years ago, you would have found it relatively easy to move out of state with your child. Back then, you, as the parent seeking to relocate, would have only had to show that you had a legitimate reason for the move and that the move would not have adversely impacted your child. For better or worse, the New Jersey Supreme changed that in 2017, when they decided Bisbing v. Bisbing, 230 N.J. 309 (2017).
How did Bisbing v. Bisbing change relocation laws in New Jersey?
In 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court reasoned that applying the same standard used in determining custody matters in general, i.e. whatever arrangement is in the child’s best interests, is the most equitable means of deciding the issue of removing a child from the state. Consequently, the Court relegated a parent’s desire to move to secondary importance. In addition, their decision ruled that a move out of state is not necessarily in the best interests of the child simply because it would not harm said child.
How does the court determine whether you can leave New Jersey with your child?
State law lists several factors for the judge to consider when making a determination of the child’s best interests. When weighing these factors, the judge will ask:
- Do the parents agree, communicate and cooperate when it concerns the child?
- Do the parents willingly accept custody?
- Does the child interact well with its parents or siblings?
- Have the child or either parent been subjected to domestic violence?
- What are the child’s physical, social, emotional and educational needs?
- How stable are the home environments offered by each parent?
- Are both parents geographically, financially and otherwise fit to exercise custody?
You should reach out to one of our skilled Monmouth County family law attorneys whether you need help preparing your initial case or lodging an appeal.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED NEW JERSEY FIRM
If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in Rumson, Monmouth County, or anywhere in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.