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Understanding New Jersey’s child relocation law

As a parent of a New Jersey child who is no longer in a relationship with your child’s other parent, a time may come when you wish to relocate to another state. Maybe you have a new job opportunity, or perhaps you want your child to reap the benefits of living closer to more of your family members. Conversely, if you are co-parenting in New Jersey, a time may come when your former partner wishes to relocate to another state with your child, but you object to him or her doing so.

Regardless of which side of the coin you fall on, there are certain circumstances that must exist for one parent to relocate to another state with a child when the child’s other parent objects to the move.

Child relocation standards

Until relatively recently, a parent who wished to relocate to another state with his or her child could do so with relative ease, provided the child’s other parent was on board with the move. In situations where the other parent was not on board with the child moving out of state, the parent desiring the move would first have to obtain approval from the courts before doing so. Typically, courts would weigh factors such as why each parent supported or objected to the move, and whether the child would have the same quality of life after the move. Additionally, the prevailing notion about child relocation in the state was that what was best for the custodial parent was best for the child in question.

Nowadays, however, the courts have shifted their focus away from what is best for the custodial parent to what is best for the child. Rather than simply show that not moving would negatively affect the child in question, the parent wanting to move must show that doing so would have a sizable, positive impact on the child.

Remember, every child custody situation is different, and circumstances involving physical abuse or drug abuse may not follow these same guidelines.

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