Child custody orders can be modified based on a significant change in circumstances in Monmouth County, NJ. Relocating with or without your child can be considered a significant change. It can also result in a disputed custody battle with your child’s other parent.
If you wish to relocate in or away from Monmouth County and are currently under a child custody order, contact The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill to speak with a lawyer. The sooner you have experienced legal counsel working on your case, the better your chance of receiving the desired outcome. Our founding lawyer Jennifer McCaskill has more than 20 years of experience handling family law matters.
How The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill Can Help You With a Move-Away Case in Monmouth County
Deciding to move away with or from your child is a difficult decision. Relocating a child can significantly impact their education, emotional state, and overall well-being. The same is true if you relocate far away from your child.
Our Monmouth County child custody lawyers at The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill have decades of experience. Our law firm is devoted to the practice of family law matters. We understand the stakes involved in child custody cases, so we aggressively protect your parental rights and your child’s best interests.
When you hire our top-rated Monmouth County family lawyers, you can trust that we’ll:
- Listen to you and provide sound legal advice and guidance
- Explain the process of petitioning the court for relocation with your child or for objecting to a child relocation petition
- Gather evidence to support your position regarding a move-away petition
- Work with you to negotiate a settlement with your child’s other parent
- Aggressively argue your case in court, if necessary
Judges do not take move-away cases lightly, and neither do we. We treat your case with the respect, devotion, and time it deserves.
Call us to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced move-away attorney in Monmouth County, NJ.
Why Do Parents Want To Move?
There are many reasons why a parent might choose to move to another city in New Jersey or another state. Some reasons for child relocation include:
- The parent is moving to attend college or graduate school.
- The parent wants to live closer to their parents or other family members.
- The parent is remarried or is about to remarry, and they want to move in with their new spouse.
- The child has special needs that can be better met in another city, such as the need for medical treatment or special education.
- A parent or child desires to change the child’s school district to a better district.
- The parent has a job offer that would increase their income or otherwise provide benefits that justify the move.
As you can see, some reasons for relocating with a child could be related directly to the child. Regardless, if you want to move with your child, you might need consent from your child’s other parent. It depends on where you want to move.
Can I Relocate With My Child Within the State of New Jersey?
Typically, a custodial parent can relocate anywhere in New Jersey. However, the move cannot significantly impact the current parenting plan and time-sharing schedule. Therefore, a short-distance move with your child might not require a court order unless there is an agreement or order stating otherwise.
In addition, long-distance moves can be more problematic because they could impact the other parent’s visitation schedule. If so, the other parent could petition the court for a modification of child custody. The parent could ask the court to grant them primary physical custody if the relocating parent is determined to move.
Moving out of state is a different issue. Even if you have sole physical custody of a child, you cannot move out of state without approval. Therefore, before taking any steps to relocate, it is wise to talk with a Monmouth County move-away lawyer. It is unwise to invest money in relocating until you are sure you can do so with your child.
How Do I Get Approval To Move Out of New Jersey With My Children?
Children cannot be moved out of state without the consent of both parents or a court order under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2. Therefore, your ex-spouse must consent if you wish to relocate to another state. If your ex-spouse refuses to consent to the move, you must petition the court for approval.
Both parents should seek legal advice from a Monmouth County move-away attorney as soon as possible in the process. New Jersey child relocation cases can be complicated. The laws regarding child relocation decisions changed drastically in 2017, making it more difficult for a parent to move out of state with a child without the other parent’s consent.
What Is the Standard for Deciding a Child Relocation Case in New Jersey?
Before the New Jersey Supreme Court decision in Bisbing v. Bisbing, 230 N.J. 309 (2017), it was easier for a parent to move out of state with a child. The relocating parent only needed to prove to the court that:
- There was a legitimate reason for moving to another state; and,
- The move would not adversely impact the child.
The courts took the position that if relocating was good for the custodial parent, then the move would benefit the child. However, all that changed with the Bisbing decision.
In Bisbing, the court decided that decisions regarding a move out of state with a child should be made using the same standard courts used to decide custody matters. A judge must consider the best interests of the child when deciding move-away cases.
Therefore, a custodial parent must now prove that a move is in the child’s best interest. It does not matter whether the parents have joint physical custody or the relocating parent has sole physical custody. The court is concerned whether the child will react positively to the move and benefit from the move.
If the relocating parent cannot prove to the court that moving the child to another state is in the child’s best interest, the court can deny the relocation request. It could grant primary physical custody to the non-relocating parent.
Factors Used To Determine Whether a Parent Can Relocate Outside of New Jersey With a Child
Judges consider many factors when deciding what is in the best interests of a child. The factors for determining a child’s best interests are found in N.J.S.A. 9:2-4. The factors include, but are not limited to:
- The child’s safety
- Each parent’s willingness to have custody of the child and meet the responsibilities of having custody
- The strength of a child’s relationships with their parents and siblings
- A parent’s ability to communicate, agree, and cooperate in matters related to their child
- The child’s needs
- A history of domestic violence, if applicable
- The continuity and quality of a child’s education
- The child’s preference for where they live, when they have the maturity to make an informed decision
- A parent’s fitness to have custody of the child
- The parent’s responsibilities at work
- The number and age of the children
- The stability of the child’s home environment
In a child relocation case, the judge may consider additional facts relevant to moving the child out of state. For example, the judge may consider the employment prospects for each parent and the distance of the relocation. The judge may also consider how the move impacts the ability of the non-custodial parent to continue a close relationship with the child, including exercising physical visitation.
Relocating to another state with your child over your ex-spouse’s objections is possible. However, you face an uphill battle to prove the move is in the best interests of your child.
What Should I Do if My Child’s Other Parent Moves Without Permission?
The first step is to hire a Monmouth County move-away lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced move-away attorney can assess the situation to determine if the parent needs court approval to relocate. An attorney can also determine if you have grounds to object to the move.
If your child’s other parent moved out of state or to another city in New Jersey that significantly impacts your ability to see your child, you could file a motion with the court to hold the other parent in contempt of court. You could ask the court to order the parent to move the child back to the previous residence or grant you physical custody so your child could live with you.
The court’s response depends on the facts of the case. Each situation is unique. Therefore, it is best to talk with a lawyer about your situation instead of assuming anything.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Monmouth County Move-Away Lawyers
If either parent relocates while under a child custody order, it is crucial they seek advice from experienced family law attorneys as soon as possible. Call The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation with a Monmouth County move-away attorney. We help you understand your legal rights and obligations regarding a relocation affecting your child.