How Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody Impacts Relocation Laws in NJ
In 2020, nearly 631,000 people filed for divorce. If you are a part of this statistic, then you may have children, and you may be wondering what your rights are regarding moving them within or across state lines.
Whether you have sole custody or joint custody, there are rules you must follow in the state of New Jersey. Read on to learn about relocating your child.
Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody
The first step to understanding your rights is knowing the difference between sole and joint custody. If you have sole custody of your child, you are responsible for making major decisions affecting the child, such as medical care, education options, and religious practices.
If you have joint custody, you and your partner are involved in making these child-related decisions together, although there is usually a parent of primary residence.
Many parents with sole custody might think that they can move wherever they want with their child, but this is not always the case.
NJ Child Relocation Laws
Before 2017, it was relatively easy for a parent to move anywhere they wanted with their child. The parent just had to provide proof that they had a legitimate reason for the move and that the move would not negatively affect the child. There are not many reasons a judge will deny relocation under these circumstances.
In 2017, following the Bisbing v. Bisbing trial, it was decided under New Jersey law that children may not be removed from New Jersey without the consent of both parents. If both parents do not agree, it can be taken to court and decided on by a judge.
If one parent wants to leave the state, they must get permission from the other parent or the court.
Moving Within the State
How far can a parent move with joint custody within New Jersey? Typically, moving within the state is not an issue. If this doesn’t affect the original custody agreement, you can make your move without the other parent’s permission or the court.
However, if this hurts your parenting agreement, the other parent can challenge you in court. For example, if your child stays with the other parent every weekend, you can not move so far away that it is impossible to meet this arrangement.
Moving Out of State
Can I move out of state with my child if I have sole custody? Many people believe they can take their child anywhere as long as they have sole custody. This is not the case.
If you want to move your child out of New Jersey and the other parent does not agree, then it is up to the court whether or not it is in your child’s best interest to move. The court will consider how your child may benefit (or not benefit) from the move rather than how it will help you as a parent.
Let Us Help You with Your Relocation Case
If you are wondering how to win a child relocation case in NJ, let the professionals at Dalena and Bosch help you. Whether you have sole custody or joint custody, we can get you the information you need to win your case.
Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns regarding child custody, divorce, estate planning, and all other matters relating to family law.