I Need to Move to Another State with My Children!
How Can I Move to Another State and Take My Children?
According to the CDC, divorce rates were stable in New Jersey from 2012 to 2015. Before then, the rates were in a constant state of flux, meaning that many divorced people have been dealing with the need to move out of the state with their children.
Moving From New Jersey to Another State
If you would like to move with your child to another state, you will need to obtain permission from the child’s other biological parent. You may need to petition the court for the ability to move as well, especially if the child was born in the state of New Jersey. The rule also applies if your child has lived in New Jersey for the past five years.
If a parent has primary custody in New Jersey, it is fairly easy for that parent to take the child out of the state. The parent with primary custody needs to demonstrate to the court that there is a good reason for the parent and the child to move to another state. The parent also has to prove that the move would not be detrimental to the child. During those times, the courts believe that anything that is good for the custodial parent will also be good for the child.
In 2017, one case changed the way that the courts determined these matters. That case was Bisbing vs. Bisbing, and the children involved in the dispute were seven-year-old twin girls. The mother was in a relationship with a man in Utah, and she planned to marry him and to move to that state. The father refused to give his permission, so the mother had to ask the court’s permission. The judge granted the mother permission to take the children out of the state because the move would not hurt them, but the father appealed the decision.
The decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court determined that the best interests of the children supersede the desires of either parent. From then on, this was the standard applied to these cases whether the parent requesting the move had primary physical custody or not.
The courts also began to determine whether or not one parent can take a child out of the state of New Jersey by the same standards that they decide which parent will receive primary custody. This means that the best interests of the child are paramount in the decision to take a child out of the state as well as in the decision of where the child will live. Now, the best interest standard must be applied for all parents with joint custody of their children.
Factors for Determining Moving Out of New Jersey
There are several factors that a judge has to consider when making decisions such as these, including:
- How many children are there, and what are their ages?
- How much time does the non-custodial parent have with the child, and how much will he or she have after they are separated?
- How many miles are between each parental residence?
- Is the parent capable of being an adequate parent?
- Will the child be able to continue to go to school?
- How stable is each home environment?
- What are the child’s needs?
- What would the child like to do?
- Is there a history of domestic violence?
- Is the child safe, and is the parent safe from the other parent?
- How is the child’s relationship with the parent and his or her siblings?
- Has the custodial parent always made sure that the other parent can see the child?
- Can each parent agree to the same decisions they are making for the child?
The judge would also need to consider whether there is a parenting plan in place before deciding whether or not you can take your child out of New Jersey. If the plan to take your child out of the state negatively affects the parenting plan that is on file, you are going to need to request permission to relocate with your child.
Where Can I Move My Child When I Have Joint Custody?
This always depends on your child’s best interests. If you are moving to another state, this definitely requires permission. If you will be remaining in New Jersey, you will not be removing your child from the state court’s jurisdiction, so this scenario will be a little easier on you. The sticking point will be if you and your ex-spouse have a parenting plan in place that would be disrupted if you were to move within the state of New Jersey. Then, you will have to obtain permission to take your child. Because the divorce judgement also contains the parenting plan that you have set in place, you are legally bound to follow it.
When there is a dispute over moving a child from the state in which the other biological parent lives, the process can be very difficult for all parties involved. It leads to expensive bills from your divorce lawyer and causes you, your children, and your spouse to experience emotional hardship. For this reason, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a therapist before you decide to undertake this battle. The negative effects that it could cause your child may not be worth the effort.
The best thing that you can do in this situation is to make every effort to resolve this issue with your ex-spouse in the friendliest manner possible. Sometimes, this is impossible to do, but you can seek the services of a mediator. It is a mediator’s job to make sure that you and your ex-spouse remain focused on your children so that you can bypass the hard times that you are currently having.
Coronavirus and Domestic Violence
Last year, it was learned that the COVID pandemic was going to be a particularly dangerous time for women and girls but not for the reason that we might expect. The order to remain at home made it clear that the places where battlefields exist are not just outside. Many people were living on the battlefields in their own homes, making it impossible for women to leave difficult living situations when they needed to do so.
As schools were also closed in New Jersey, children did not have safe havens to go to every day. They were forced to remain at home, where violent situations were occurring against their mothers, and some were experiencing the violence themselves. Not being able to go to school meant that they were unable to tell a trusted adult what was going on in their homes.
If you are experiencing any of the above situations and need to hire a divorce lawyer, contact us at the Law Offices of Kelly Berton Rocco. We are located in Hackensack, New Jersey, and you can call us at (201)343-0078.