It is not common for a
divorce case in New Jersey or any other state to conclude with one parent losing all
rights to see their child. Even if sole physical and legal
child custody rights are granted to one parent, the other typically receives visitation rights,
such as being allowed to see their child once a month. Due to the prevalence
of joint custody and visitation agreements, it is often quite difficult
for a parent to move far away, or right out of the state, after a divorce.
Getting a Move-Away Order Approved
Disrupting a pre-established child custody order or visitation agreement
can negatively impact the wellbeing of your child, as it might strip away
a sense of stability or security. New Jersey family law courts know as
much, and therefore need to be convinced that your
relocation is absolutely necessary. You cannot simply decide you want to move, file
the petition, and expect a good outcome.
When deciding on a move-away order, the court will consider:
Distance: Moving a few miles away or across the county is generally not a big deal
that requires the court’s approval, even if the noncustodial parent
doesn’t have an automobile of their own. Move-away requests can
be challenged by noncustodial parents if the distance is great –
100 miles is often used a benchmark for when the move is “too far
to be reasonable” – or if the propose move involves living
in a different state than before, no matter the total distance.
Reasons: The reason for wanting to relocate needs to be convincing to the court.
Good reasons to move include pursuing gainful employment, remarrying,
or to improve your health, such as moving out of the city if pollution
irritates your asthma. Be sure to also tell the court if you have reason
to believe that living close to your ex-spouse puts you or your child
at risk of suffering
Accommodations: A noncustodial parent with visitation rights can challenge a move-away
order if they cannot easily relocate along with the custodial parent to
maintain contact with their child. Before filing a petition to relocate,
it can help to try to work with your ex-spouse to find ways to accommodate
them for the proposed change in distance. You may change your child custody
order to give them physical custody rights during a portion of the year,
Overall impact: What will the relocation do to your child’s wellbeing and happiness?
If a court thinks that the move will be bad for your child’s development,
no matter how necessary it might actually be, it could be denied. Do what
the court does and first always ask if your petition or decision will
negatively impact your child’s best interests.
Draft Your Relocation Petition with Our Help
Our Bergen County divorce attorneys at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC can help
you decide if a relocation is worth it or not. If it is necessary and
will not upset your child’s wellbeing, we can get to work on creating
a petition that convinces the court to agree with your request. We might
even be able to avoid courtroom conflict altogether by first discussing
matters with your ex-spouse or their legal counsel.
Get more information about our services and your legal options during a free initial consultation. Just dial 201.419.6223 to begin.