Moving a child out of state is usually a very emotional decision. There may be many good reasons for relocation – a new job, a desire to be closer to family, or even the need to make a fresh start. However, if you are the custodial parent and want to move with your child out of state, your first step needs to be to consult with a child custody lawyer to ensure you obtain the court’s permission to do so.
One of the first things your child custody attorney will tell you is: do NOT move out of state without obtaining the consent of the other parent. If you do not have consent, you must seek approval from the court before you move. Failing to do this could put you in legal jeopardy, and is a risky legal move for both you and your child.
The right of both parents to be a positive influence in the lives of their children – and the protection of those rights – is something a court takes very seriously. In all child custody matters – and especially those that involve relocation – the court will be guided by what is in the best interest of the child. This is true where one parent has primary residential custody or where both parents have shared physical custody.
The court will look very carefully at the same factors as determining custody under New Jersey law, which includes but are not limited to the following:
- Parents’ ability to cooperate in the best interests of the child;
- Parent’s ability to co-parent well with each other;
- Child’s relationship with parents and siblings;
- Any domestic violence history;
- Depending on age, the preference of the child to move or stay;
- Needs of the child;
- Quality and continuity of education;
- Fitness of the parents;
- Primary home stability;
- The geographic proximity of parents’ homes;
- Quality and quantity of time spent with the non-custodial parent;
- Employment responsibilities of both parents;
- Age of the child and the number of siblings.
There may be other factors the Court will weigh as well, but the overarching principle at play here is what is in the best interests of the child.
Protecting your interests and achieving results that support your needs is what you can expect from Murphy & Cistaro. Contact us today for your free consultation.