A parent who is following a child custody order because of a divorce or paternity case may need to take certain steps in order to move. These steps commonly apply to a parent who has residential custody of the child, that is, takes of care of the child most of the time. However, parents who are exercising parenting time may have to take steps as well.
Step 1: Read your court order
New Jersey’s courts have a lot of leeway to come up with custody and parenting time solutions. In their orders, courts are free to add rules and restrictions on when parents may and may not move.
The first step a South New Jersey parent who wants to move should take is to review their court order carefully, perhaps with the help of an experienced family law attorney.
The parent will need to follow all terms of their court order.
Step 2: Is the move going to be outside of New Jersey?
In many cases, New Jersey’s law prohibits single parents from moving out of state with their children if they are subject to a custody order. This is true even if, in terms of miles, the move is not that far.
If a parent needs to move outside of New Jersey, then they will either have to get the other parent’s permission or get an order from the court. As with other custody situations, the court will determine whether a move is in the best interests of the children involved.
Step 3: You may have to prepare for a contested court hearing
If another parent is not willing to cooperate with a move, then the parent who needs to move will need to prepare to convince a judge that their reasons for doing so are legitimate.
They will also need to show that the children can have contact with the other parent and that the move overall is in the best interests of the children.