Can the Court Prevent Me from Moving Out of State with My Child?

The short answer is yes, New Jersey’s family court system may prevent you from moving out of state if you are currently sharing custody of your child with your former partner. This is because moving out of state can make it impossible for your child to maintain a relationship with both of his or her parents, which can have a negative impact on him or her as well as the non-custodial parent.

However, sometimes life takes you out of New Jersey. Maybe you’ve been offered a job opportunity that could propel your career forward or a family member needs you to provide in-home care. As a custodial parent, your child’s other parent must consent to your move for you to relocate to a new state. If he or she does not grant consent, you will need to seek a court order to overrule his or her decision and move out of state with your child. For the court to approve your request for an order to move out of state, you will need to prove that your move is for a reason in good faith.

Is My Move in Good Faith?

A “good faith” reason to move out of state is any reason that would benefit you or your child, accompanied by a reasonable plan for your child to maintain a relationship with his or her non-custodial parent.

To determine whether your stated reason for your move is in good faith, the court considers the following factors:

  • Whether your child’s educational, health, and personal enrichment opportunities in the new location match or exceed those available to him or her in your current home.
  • If your child will soon enter his or her senior year of high school. If so, your child must also agree to the move.
  • Your child’s personal preferences, if he or she is old enough to develop a logical opinion about his or her location. Generally, this is only a factor with older children and adolescents.
  • Any special needs your child has and whether they can be met in your proposed new location.
  • Your reason for moving.
  • Your former partner’s reasons for opposing the move.
  • Whether your child can realistically maintain a relationship with his or her other parent after the move. His or her relationships with grandparents, cousins, and other extended family may also be considered.
  • Both you and your former partner’s history of cooperation with the court.
  • Whether your former partner has the opportunity to relocate to be closer to your child.

Before seeking a court order to move, talk to your child’s other parent about your plan to leave New Jersey. Inform him or her of your plan and how it will affect your current custody arrangement. Then, contact The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. online or at 732-370-9596 to discuss modifying your child custody arrangement and how to seek a court order to move out of state if necessary. Located in Wall, New Jersey, our family law firm proudly advocates for parents and children in Ocean, Monmouth, Mercer, and Burlington counties.

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