Child Relocation in Oradell
Relocation Out of the State of New Jersey (Interstate Relocation)
Following a divorce, if a non-custodial parent wishes to move out of New Jersey without a child, there are no laws to prevent him or her from doing so. If a custodial parent wishes to move out of New Jersey with a child, however, he or she must have the other parent’s consent or a court order granting permission to move.
In the absence of consent, relocation cases are guided by Bisbing v. Bisbing, 230 N.J. 309 (2017). Under Bisbing, a parent seeking to relocate from New Jersey must establish that the proposed relocation is in the child’s best interest. The Bisbing Court held that “best interests” can be established by weighing the factors set forth in N.J.S.A. 9:2-4, as well as other relevant considerations. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(c), a court should consider the following factors:
- the parents' ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child
- the parents' willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse
- the interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings
- the history of domestic violence, if any
- the safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent
- the preference of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision
- the needs of the child
- the stability of the home environment offered
- the quality and continuity of the child's education the fitness of the parents
- the geographical proximity of the parents' homes
- the extent and quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the separation
- the parents' employment responsibilities and
- the age and number of the children.
The Bisbing decision represented a departure from the previous approach to relocation cases under Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001). Pursuant to Baures, the custodial parent only had to show that there was a good faith reason for asking to move out of state and that the move would not be inimical to the children’s interests. If the custodial parent met that burden, then the court would grant the request to relocate unless the noncustodial parent could show that the request to move was not made in good faith or that it was not in the children’s interests.
Relocation Within the State of New Jersey (Intrastate Relocation)
Generally, a parent with primary physical custody of the child can decide to relocate within New Jersey without the noncustodial parent's authorization. In Schulze v. Morris, 361 N.J. Super. 419, 426 (App. Div. 2003), the New Jersey Appellate Division concluded that while relocation within the State of New Jersey by a joint residential custodial parent does not constitute a removal action, it may constitute a substantial change in circumstances warranting modification of the custodial and parenting-time arrangement. Thus, in order to obtain a plenary hearing, a parent opposing intrastate relocation must demonstrate that "a genuine issue of fact exists bearing upon a critical question such as the best interests of the children, interference with parental rights, or the existence of a good faith reason to move." Pfeiffer v. Ilson, 318 N.J. Super. 13, 14 (App. Div. 1999).
If you or your co-parent is looking to move out of New Jersey or within the State of New Jersey, it is important to speak with an attorney to discuss your case. Call the Law Office of Joseph A. DiPiazza, LLC at (201) 597-0065 to schedule a legal consultation.
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