There are several arrangements to be made during divorce proceedings, including child custody of the spouses are parents. When the arrangements are made, they are required to be followed because they are court-ordered. As both spouses move on with their lives after a divorce, new opportunities may present themselves that requires them to relocate. This can be due to a job opportunity or family matter. When a parent has to move, they may want their child to come with them. This can be a difficult situation because the other parent may not want their child to move far away from them. When this happens, parents have the right to fight for their child to not relocate. These cases can be brought to court to be decided by a judge.
Physical Custody vs Legal Custody
There are different types of custody arrangements for parents. The two main types of custody arrangements are physical and legal custody. They are both different but neither one is necessarily more important. They apply to two different things. Physical custody determines a custodial parent. This means the child will live with them the majority of the time, but also spend time in their other parent’s residence.
On the other hand, legal custody gives a parent the right to make important decisions for their child. This can for issues such as medical treatment, the child’s education, religious practices, and more. This type of custody allows a parent influence over their child and the opportunity to be a part of the major events of their life. This can include matters such as child relocation. Even if the parent does not have physical custody, they can still have a say in whether or not they move.
In August of 2017, relocation law was changed in New Jersey. The state Supreme Court ruled that Courts are required to analyze relocation cases with a “best interest” standard. This means that when a parent wishes to relocate with their child, they must prove that relocating away from the non-custodial parent is in the best interest of the child.
To make this decision, the Court considers several different factors. This can include:
- The bond between the child and each parent
- The impact of the move on the child’s established relationships
- Social life
- The reasons for and against the move
- Other implications of the child and custodial parent moving
When relocation is opposed, the Court typically appoints a mental health professional to conduct an evaluation of the child and the family. This helps the Court come to an appropriate decision.
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If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.