Lindabury Legal Corner

Moving with Your Children Out of State After a Divorce

f820cc6ed5bc5f16d0cf_McGlew_James_06_pp.jpg
James McGlew
f820cc6ed5bc5f16d0cf_McGlew_James_06_pp.jpg

One of the most contentious issues faced by many divorced parents has always been whether the custodial parent has the right to relocate with the parties’ children out of state. In an increasingly mobile society this has become an issue for many parents. Often custodial parents decide that they cannot continue to reside in New Jersey. They need to explore job opportunities in other states and/or move back to a state where they were raised and may have a family-type support system in place. They may have started a relationship with someone who resides out-of-state or may be contemplating marriage with that person who has an established career in another state.  

For years, the custodial parent could not permanently remove the children from the state of New Jersey without the written consent of the other party or a court Order. If there was no agreement, the party wishing to move would petition the court for permission. Over the past several decades the standard our Courts have used to make this determination has evolved.  For more than 15 years, the standard has been that the prospect of moving the children out of state would be granted unless it was "inimical to the child's interest."

Last month, the New Jersey Supreme Court changed the standard that lower courts are to utilize when determining whether or not a custodial parent may relocate the children out of New Jersey. It was also determined that this new standard would apply whether or not the party seeking to move has been the child’s primary residential parent. This ruling represents a significant departure from existing law by changing the standard a court is obligated to interpret  It also gives the noncustodial parent considerably more input and seeks to protect the rights of both parents.

Sign Up for E-News

When examining the issue of relocation our courts are now charged with determining whether there is "cause" (to be interpreted under the existing statute) to authorize a child’s relocation out of New Jersey. To do so, courts are now obligated to weigh many factors including, but not limited to: “the parents’ ability to agree, to communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child; the parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse; the interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings; the history of domestic violence, if any; the safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent; the preferences of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision; the needs of the child; the stability of the home environment offered; the quality and continuity of the child’s education; the fitness of the parents’ homes; the extent and quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the separation; the parents’ employment responsibilities; and the age and number of children.”

The court found that such a showing of "cause" was required "to preserve the rights of the noncustodial parent and the child to maintain and develop their familial relationship." Furthermore, in making the determination of "cause" the court must examine the custodial parent’s interest in freedom of movement as qualified by his or her custodial obligation, the State’s interest in protecting the best interests of the child, and the competing interests of the noncustodial parent."

In conducting their best interest analysis, the Supreme Court has directed the lower courts to consider the position of the parent of primary residence who might have important insights about the current and proposed arrangement that will most effectively serve the child. Of similar importance is the input of the parent of alternate residence who may similarly offer significant information about the child. The court also stated that the views of other adults who have significant relationships with the child may also lend assistance to the Court in making its determination.  Lower courts were instructed to consider all of the above in addition to other evidence including documentary evidence, judicial interviews with the child conducted at the court’s discretion and expert testimony. Courts often rely on the expertise of psychologists and other mental health professionals when making these determinations.

This new standard has a great impact on those parents who are either seeking to move out of New Jersey with their children or wish to object to such a request by their former spouse.  Each case in this regard is extremely fact sensitive and requires a family lawyer with experience.

To discuss these changes which may relate to your present or anticipated situation please call my office at 908-233-6800 or contact me via email at jmcglew@lindabury.com to schedule an appointment. All inquiries are strictly confidential.

 

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper is a mid-sized general practice law firm providing quality legal services to businesses and individuals throughout New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic region. Our attorneys provide vigorous and cost-effective counsel to help clients meet their personal and professional objectives. Learn more about all of the services Lindabury provides by visiting www.Lindabury.Law.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Linden Man Arrested After Explosion in Cranford

June 22, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ — An explosion heard in Cranford Wednesday has led to the arrest of 26-year old Michael Kossup of Linden, NJ, according to authorities. Kossup has been charged with Possession of Prohibited Destructive Devices (3rd Degree); Possession of Under 50g (Marijuana); and Possession of Paraphernalia. 

On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting on June 19

June 22, 2018

I opened the Board meeting on a somber note, announcing the death of sophomore student Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel.  Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over his death.  We extend our condolences to the Uziel family.  I noted that school counselors are available for all students or staff who may wish to discuss their feelings ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_494009374f5b6e909328_spb-4937_newsletter_june_22

Fri, June 22, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Sports

Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Sat, June 23, 9:00 AM

Between Park Street and Washington Street, Westfield

Walking Tour: What Makes a Great House and ...

Home & Garden

Westfield Police Blotter: Criminal Mischief to Vehicles Continues & More

June 20, 2018

June 13, 2018 9:24 a.m.

Officer Santangelo arrested Hakan Kaya, age 46, of Westfield, New Jersey on an outstanding warrant (#E19490) in the amount of $304.00 out of Neptune City Municipal Court pursuant to turning himself in at WPD Headquarters. Subject was processed and released after posting the full bail amount.

 

June 13, 2018 11:02 a.m.

Lieutenant McFarlean and Officer ...

June 22 NJ Symphony Orchestra Concert Moved Indoors Due to Weather Forecast

June 22, 2018

Due to the weather forecast, tonight’s concert originally located at Echo Lake Park is now MOVED INDOORS to the Main Stage of the Union County Performing Arts Center, at 1601 Irving Street in Rahway.

Come an enjoy an evening with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at this beautifully restored 1920's era former vaudeville hall. Concert begins at 7:30 sharp (sorry, no yoga ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...

Understand the New Law for Paid Sick Leave

Paid sick leave is now the law in New Jersey.

New Jersey has passed a paid sick leave law which preempts paid sick leave ordinances adopted by several cities and towns so there is now one uniform law in this area for New Jersey employers. Here is what you need to know about the new law.

33 Homes Sold June 10 to June 17 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Thirty-three Homes sold from June 10 to June 17, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*

 

TOWN         ADDRESS                      STYLE    ...

Westfield 3rd Graders Receive Top Honors at Mock Trial Competition

Westfield third graders recently received top honors for three mock court cases they presented at the New Jersey Bar Foundation Law Fair.

“I am proud that, out of 84 entries submitted, our third grade students (now fourth graders) in the Gifted Program have won 1st Place, 2nd Place and Honorable Mention in the 3rd Grade category [of the Law Fair ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...

Greatness

In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down for 2 Hours After Fight Breaks Out

June 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported after a fight involving a crowd of people shut down the Bridgewater Commons Mall for two hours Thursday evening.

According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall was resuming normal business operations.

According to Somerset County ...

Obituaries

Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more