One of the matters a family court may see is the relocation of a child. In some cases, the custodial parent may seek to relocate the child within New Jersey, but far from the original marital home. In other cases, a custodial parent may seek to move their child outside of New Jersey. The New Jersey Supreme Court changed their standard for removal which makes it more difficult for custodial parents to relocate with a child without the noncustodial parent’s consent. If you are facing an upcoming legal process regarding relocation, it is essential that you gain the services of an experienced family law attorney to fight on your behalf. Contact our firm today to discuss your case. We are prepared to fight for your rights as a parent, no matter your position it the case.

Continue reading to discover the difference between legal custody and physical custody, plus, learn the relocation laws in New Jersey and how they will affect you.

Legal Custody Vs Physical Custody

There are two main types of arrangements that are made during a divorce regarding child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where a child will live the majority of the time, determining a child’s custodial parent, while still being able to spend time with the non-custodial parent’s residence. Legal custody refers to the amount of influence a parent has in their child’s life regarding making decisions on their behalf. These decisions regard important aspects of the child’s upbringing including matters such as religious practices, medical treatment, education, and more. Legal custody can also include relocation. A parent without physical custody of their child still has the right to speak up in the event of their possible relocation.

Relocation Laws

Since August of 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court rules that relocation cases need to be assessed with the best interest standard providing that moving the child to this new location is in the child’s best interest.

When making a decision in relocation cases, New Jersey courts will consider many factors including the following:

  • Education
  • Social life
  • The reasons for and against the move
  • The bond between the child and each parent
  • Other implications of the child and custodial parent moving
  • The impact of the move on the child’s established relationships

When the relocation of the child is opposed by a non-custodial parent, the court appoints a mental health professional to conduct an evaluation of the family and the child. This will also be considered when the court makes its final decision regarding relocation with the child’s best interest in mind.


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.