Once child custody and visitation have been established, a custodial parent that wishes to relocate with their child must get the permission of the non-custodial parent. If that parent does not grant permission, the case will go to court and a judge will determine if the custodial parent meets the 12 factors required to relocate.
Why Relocation Cases are Complex
Relocation of a custodial parent can take away the rights of a non-custodial parent. Therefore, a historic case Baures v. Lewis in 2001 set a new standard to protect those rights and prevent a custodial parent from leaving with the child. The Supreme Court of New Jersey requires all custodial parents to prove that they are moving in good faith and that the relocation will not affect the child. The 12 factors that the court will consider when determining if a move is acceptable include:
- The reasons for the relocation.
- Reasons the non-custodial parent opposes the relocation.
- How both parties have dealt with one another in the past – and if that history is influencing either party’s decision.
- If the child will receive health, educational and leisure opportunities that are better or equal to the opportunities they have in their current city.
- The special needs of the child that requires new accommodations.
- If visitation and communication schedules will be developed so that the non-custodial parent can still see and be part of the child’s life.
- The likelihood that the custodial parent will continue to maintain the relationship between the child and noncustodial parent post-move.
- The effect of the move on other family relationships with the child.
- If the child prefers to move or stay (depending on the child’s age).
- If the child is entering their senior year of high school, the courts may require the child wait until graduation before relocating.
- Whether the non-custodial parent can relocate as well.
- Any other factors that affect the child’s best interests.
If Courts Deny a Move-Away
The court will deny a custodial parent’s request to move if they fail to prove that they are moving in good faith or that the move is in the best interest of the child. The non-custodial parent may have offered more evidence proving that the custodial parent’s move was unjustified as well. Regardless, a custodial parent can have their case assessed by a family attorney, and they can appeal the decision. Appealing, however, requires the custodial parent to have a valid reason for an appeal, such as the non-custodial parent misrepresenting facts during the hearing, the judge making a judicial mistake, etc.
Denied Your Move-Away? Contact Romanowski Law Offices Today
A denial does not mean you are out of options. The team at Romanowski Law Offices can help you explore your alternatives and possibly help you get permission to relocate. Contact us today for a consultation regarding your move-away case by calling 732-603-8585 or fill out an online contact form.