Family courts in New Jersey prefer shared custody arrangements since children generally benefit from maintaining a relationship with both parents. It also helps the overall well-being of the parents.
However, there is the possibility that after the divorce, one parent will want to move to another state and take the children with them. What will the court consider in this scenario?
The children’s best interest
One parent may want to relocate with their children for several reasons, such as a job offer, remarriage or a desire to be closer to other family members.
When it comes to relocating to another state with children, New Jersey laws are very clear. A child can’t be moved to another state without both parent’s consent. Parents can agree to change the child custody order to allow the custodial parent to move out of state with the children.
However, if one parent doesn’t consent, it will be up to the court to decide. There are several factors the court will evaluate to determine if the move is in the best interest of the children. In addition to the reason for relocation, it will consider the potential harm to the non-custodial parent/child relationship. Depending on age, it will also look at the child’s preference.
If the judge permits the relocation, it’s essential to consider its impact on the non-custodial parent’s custody and visitation rights. Arrangements should be made so that the parent can stay involved in their children’s lives, even if they can’t physically be with them.
Technology has made it easier for parents to stay connected with their children. Video calls, messaging apps, emails and texts can all help parents and children maintain a close relationship.
It will also be important to establish a long-distance visitation schedule for regular visits to the child’s location and the child spending time with the non-custodial parent during school holidays.
Before deciding to relocate to another state, it’s crucial to consider the impact it may have on your children’s well-being. Reviewing all of your options will help you determine what the best solution is for everyone.