New Jersey custody law does not restrict either parent from moving from one place to another in the state. It does, however, prevent a custodial parent from relocating out of state with a child unless:

  • The parents both agree in writing
  • The parent gets the courts agreement to relocate

Relocating and the Child-Parent Bond

The New Jersey family law courts agree that a strong parent-child bond with both parents is of great benefit to the child. In many situations, a request for relocation begins with a “good faith basis” analysis. This is followed by a review that determines whether the move is harmful to the child’s best interests.

This review requires an analysis of 12 factors:

  • What are the reasons for the move?
  • What are the reasons for opposing the move?
  • What is the past history of dealings between both parents in regard to the reasons put forward by each for either supporting or opposing the move?
  • Will the child receive educational, health and leisure opportunities at least equal to what is available here?
  • Are there any special needs or talents of the child that require accommodation and is the accommodation its equivalent in the new location?
  • Can a visitation and communication schedule be developed that allow the noncustodial parent to maintain a full and continuous relationship with the child?
  • What is the likelihood that the custodial parent will continue to foster the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent if the move is allowed?
  • What will the affect of the move be on extended family relationships here and in the new location?
  • If the child is of age, what is his or her preference?
  • Is the child entering his or her senior year in high school? If so, case, they should generally not be moved until graduation without their consent.
  • Does the noncustodial parent have the ability to relocate?
  • Are there any other factors bearing on the child’s interest?

Relocation in Shared Parenting or De Facto Shared Custody Situations

If there is a shared parenting situation or a “de facto shared custody” situation, the method of review is completely different. The standard applied in that case is the standard applied to changes in custody, which ultimately is a “best interests of the child” standard. This is a much higher burden of proof.

Cherry Hill, NJ, Law Firm Focused on Family Law

At the law office of Morgenstern & Rochester, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we have a combined 50 years’ experience helping parents solve complex legal issues like these.  Our two-partner law firm focuses exclusively on family law matters that include relocation, child custody and parenting time, modifying an original divorce decree, equitable division of marital property and debt and support matters.

Get Answers and Advocacy From an Experienced Relocation Attorney

Whether you are seeking to relocate or want to prevent relocation, it is important to access a skilled, caring lawyer who can help. Arrange a meeting with one of our Morgenstern & Rochester’s lawyers at our Cherry Hill, NJ, law firm by calling: 856-489-6200 or send us an email.