Relocation Laws Morris County NJ
Helping Parents across Chester, Chatham, Mendham, Harding, Morristown, and Morris County
After many divorces or domestic partnership dissolutions, one parent or the other may wish to relocate out-of-state, or within the state of New Jersey itself. This can be for a “fresh start”, to pursue a new employment or educational opportunity, or even to remarry and begin a new partnership.
However, in order for these parents to relocate with their children, many times a court review will be necessary in order to modify the child custody agreement to reflect the proposed change in circumstance. When it comes to relocation cases, the courts in New Jersey are required to follow statutes and case law, certain aspects of which have changed greatly in August 2017’s NJ Supreme Court Ruling in Bisbing v Bisbing.
An experienced family law attorney who understands the courts’ criteria can provide invaluable legal help in relocation cases, and help you resolve the manner which makes the most sense for you as a parent, and your children. The Morristown family law firm of Laufer Dalena Cadicina Jensen & Boyd has successfully represented many parents in child custody modification and relocation disputes across Chester, Chatham, Mendham, Harding, Morristown, and Morris County.
Contact our firm to discuss your relocation matter in a free and confidential consultation with our family law team today.
Relocations within the State of New Jersey
Chester, NJ Relocation Attorneys
While there are very strict laws and processes for securing approval for an out-of-state relocation with children, for relocations within the state of New Jersey the law is somewhat vague.
If the planned relocation is within the general area where the children already reside, than that relocation most likely will not require court approval.
If, on the other hand, the in-state relocation has the potential to cause a great deal of difficulty upholding the existing visitation agreement, than that relocation may need court approval, and can be contested by the parent who is not relocating. In this case, the court will handle the relocation request, and potential contestation of that request in the same way that they will handle all out-of-state relocation requests.
Relocations Out of New Jersey
Mendham, NJ Child Custody Lawyers
If a parent wishes to relocate with their children out of the state of New Jersey, they must file a request for approval of the relocation with the family court system. Further, they will need to provide sufficient “good cause” for the relocation, and demonstrate that the planned relocation is not simply an effort to damage the children’s relationship with the other parent.
Some of the most commonly accepted “good causes” are:
- In order for the relocating parent to pursue a significant new employment opportunity
- In order for the relocating parent or their children to pursue new educational opportunities
- In order for the relocating parent and/or the children to be closer to sources of support or extended family
- In order for the children to have better access to medical care, or resources which better support any special talents or needs they may have
- In order for the relocating parent and/or the children to avoid a potential source of harm or risk to their health
- In order for the relocating parent to remarry
If the relocating parent can demonstrate that they have good cause for the move, than the parent who is not relocating is given the opportunity to contest the relocation. Should they do so, a court hearing will become necessary, at which the court will make a thorough assessment of what they believe to be in the children’s best interests, and how to best modify the existing child custody agreement to reflect these new planned changes in circumstance while still allowing both parents to maintain as close a relationship as possible with their children.
Child Relocation Hearings in Morris County
Chatham, NJ Child Custody Modification Attorneys
Should a child relocation request become contested by the parent who is not relocating, a court hearing will need to take place. At this hearing, the courts will take into consideration a wide variety of factors, and perform a “best interest analysis” as outlined in N.J.S.A. 9:4-2. These factors, investigations, and analysis will all help the court to determine what kind of solution is in the best interests of the child, as all relocation hearings are now determined on this basis thanks to the recent ruling in Bisbing v Bisbing.
Some of the many factors a court will take into consideration when making a relocation judgement include:
- The stated reasons for the parent’s desire to relocate, and whether or not the request is in good faith
- The stated reasons for the non-relocating parent to contest the relocation
- The history of the relationship between the parents and how it might affect their desire to relocate, or how they approach this process
- The educational, health, and leisure opportunities available to the children in both locations
- The ability of either location to support the children’s unique talents or needs
- The possibilities for the children to maintain a relationship with both parents in either location
- The relationship of the children to extended family, and how the relocation would affect these relationships
- The court’s belief that one or both parents will encourage the children to maintain a close relationship with the other parent after the relocation
- The possibility for the parent who is not relocating to also relocate
- The children’s own preferences on the matter if the court believes they are of an age and maturity level to express them
- Any other factors the court considers relevant to the case at hand
As you can see, a great deal of factors will need to be presented, weighed, and considered during any child relocation hearing. At the end of this exhaustive analysis, the court will make a final ruling, typically granting one parent or the other primary child custody, attempt to find a new visitation schedule which works for both parents and the children, and modify the existing child custody agreement to reflect this decision.
Of course, in any matter to critical to your future as a parent and the futures of your children, having an experienced child custody attorney on your side can be of immense benefit. Your attorney will be able to advise you on how to proceed throughout the process, present compelling and effective arguments on your behalf regarding which factors the court should take into consideration above others, and ultimately help you secure the resolution that best meets your needs, and the needs of your child.
Contact Our Morristown Child Custody Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Bradley, our attorneys have extensive experience helping parents to create flexible, fair, and resilient child custody agreements, modify those agreements when circumstances change, and work with parents to resolve relocation disputes across Chester, Chatham, Mendham, Harding, Morristown, and Morris County, NJ.
Whether you are facing an out-of-state relocation request, or a relocation request for a long distance in-state move, our firm is prepared to conduct a full investigation regarding how the prospective relocation will affect both of the parents, and their children. By gathering supporting facts and providing aggressive advocacy, we can help you to resolve your relocation matter in a way that takes into account your needs and best interests as a parent, and the needs and best interests of your children as well.
To speak with our family law team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your child custody settlement, a child custody modification, or a pending relocation request, please contact us online, or through our Morristown office at (973) 975-0441.