Can I Take My Child To Live With Me In Another State?

Moving Children of the Divorce To Another State

The answer to the question posed above is: it depends. In the first scenario, where the spouse seeking to relocate with the child or children can obtain the consent of his or her ex-spouse, then there is no problem and that person may relocate. In the second scenario, where no such consent is given, the spouse seeking to move out of New Jersey must obtain a court order granting permission to do so.

Court’s Primary Concern is the Best Interest of the Child

The court’s first and last concern when deciding to grant such an order is the best interest of the minor child or children. Moving out of New Jersey is an act that will disrupt the status quo, the court places the burden on the party seeking the court order to show good cause why the move is in the best interest of the minor child or children. Specifically, the party seeking the court order must first convince the court that there is a good faith reason for seeking to move out of New Jersey, and then must convince the court that such a move is in the best interest of the minor child or children.

The 12 Factors Courts Will Consider

To help the lower courts in deciding when to grant such a court order, the New Jersey Supreme Court has promulgated twelve (12) factors a court must consider:

1) The reasons given for the move (courts want to be sure the motive force is not, for example, spite).
2) The reasons put forth by the non-moving party in opposition to the move.
3) The past histories of the two parties in dealing with one another, insofar as those dealings might shed light on the offered reasons in support of and opposition to the proposed move.
4) Whether the child or children will receive educational, health, and leisure opportunities at least equal to that which is currently available to them in New Jersey.
5) Any special needs or talents of the child or children that require accommodation and whether such accommodation or its equivalent is available in the new location.
6) Whether a visitation and communication schedule can be developed that will allow the non-moving parent to maintain a full and continuous relationship with the child or children.
7) The likelihood that the moving parent will continue to foster the child or children’s relationship with the non-moving parent if the move is allowed.
8) The effect of the move on extended family relationships in New Jersey and in the new location.
9) The preference of the child or children, where the child or children are of a certain age.
10) Whether the child or children are entering senior year in high school (it is generally seen as very disruptive to move children at this time in their lives).
11) Whether the non-moving party has the ability to relocate.
12) Any other factor being on the interest of the child or children.

You Need Legal Representation

If you are seeking to leave New Jersey with your minor child, or if you are trying to prevent your ex-spouse from doing so, it is important to seek the counsel of a competent attorney experienced in New Jersey family law matters.

Vincent DeLuca, Esq. Has Over 20 Years of Family Law Experience

Vincent C. DeLuca of Villani & DeLuca, P.C., is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Attorney. Mr. DeLuca is one of a limited number of attorneys to hold the prestigious certification of Matrimonial Attorney in New Jersey. Additionally, Mr. DeLuca, whose practice is devoted exclusively to Family Law in Ocean County and Monmouth County, is one of only five certified Matrimonial Attorneys on the Roster of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law in Ocean County, New Jersey. Call 732-965-3350 today for a free initial consultation.