Relocating after Divorce in New Jersey

Relocating after Divorce in New Jersey

Relocating after Divorce in New Jersey

In the aftermath of a divorce, it’s not uncommon for one of the parties to want to relocate, either to be close to family, to take a new job or a promotion, or just to get a change of scenery. If there are no minor children involved, that’s generally not a problem. However, when there are children still in the marital home at the time of the divorce, and the person who wants to move has physical custody, the process can be difficult.

The first thing to understand is that the court will always give priority to the best interests of the minor children—the parents’ needs are generally secondary. One of the fundamental objectives of the court is to ensure that children have meaningful interaction and contact with both parents. That objective can be difficult to attain if one of the parents lives a significant distance from the child.

Here’s how New Jersey customarily views the relocation of a parent in a divorce proceeding:

  • A non-custodial parent is generally free to move away from the minor child, but there will be no change in the support obligation of the noncustodial parent. However, if the parties have joint physical custody—where the children spend an equal amount of time physically present with the parent—the parent will typically need the permission of the other parent to move.
  • A custodial parent must obtain permission from the other parent or the court to relocate to another state, or to relocate within the state in a way that alters an existing visitation order.

If no custody order has been signed yet, a parent with possession of a minor child can take that child away from the area on a short trip without permission from the other parent or the court. If the other parent objects, however, it is advisable not to take the child out of the area unless you obtain a court order allowing you to do so. Otherwise, you may face challenges when it comes time to put a custody and visitation order in place.

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  • Family law matters are often charged with emotion and parties can be overwhelmed by the myriad of decisions that need to be made. Feelings of frustration, helplessness, anger and sadness are normal. We understand. Our attorneys and staff provide you with the compassionate, personal attention you deserve and the experience and integrity you demand. Whenever possible, we attempt to amicably settle the issues. When parties come to an agreement without court intervention, the results are generally more satisfying for the parties and spares them the emotional and financial cost of trial. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. And when it isn't, you want aggressive representation you can trust.

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