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Does Custody Impact if I Can Relocate with My Child?

In 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court signed a law that requires the state courts to make decisions regarding children in family law matters with the best interest standard. The best interest standard means that rulings must consider the child’s best interests and not just those of the parents. So, this standard applies even when you plan to move away with your child in the aftermath of your divorce. Read on to discover how your child custody settlement agreement may impact whether you can relocate with your child and how one of the seasoned New Jersey child custody attorneys at Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn can help you navigate your request.

How does custody impact whether I can relocate with my child?

Usually, it only matters that you get court approval to relocate with your child if you plan to go a far distance away from your former spouse. This is because such a far move may prevent your former spouse from seeing your child as often as your child custody settlement agreement permits.

Court approval also matters depending on what type of custody you have of your child. The types of custody are listed below:

  • Physical custody: you are the custodial parent, which means your child lives with you for the majority of the time.
  • Legal custody: you have the right to be involved in making important decisions regarding your child, which means you have a say on their medical treatment, education, religious practices, etc.
  • Sole custody: your former spouse was determined to be parentally unfit, which means that you are the only parent with physical and legal custody of your child.

So, if you share joint custody with your former spouse, you will likely need the court’s permission to relocate with your child. But if you have sole custody, you will not need the approval to do so.

What factors contribute to whether I can relocate with my child?

If you share joint custody of your child and your former spouse denies your relocation with your child, then you will have to take this matter to court. The court may ask the following to decide whether you can move:

  • Why did you request the relocation with your child?
  • Why did your former spouse contest your relocation with your child?
  • Will your relocation improve your child’s quality of life?
  • Will your relocation improve your child’s educational, social, and economic opportunities?
  • Will your relocation be closer to your child’s extended family?
  • Will your relocation be to a safer area for your child’s upbringing?
  • Will your relocation be to move away from your dangerous former spouse?

If you need help with preparing how to answer the above questions, consult with one of the competent Morris County family law attorneys today.

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