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Do I Need Court Approval to Relocate with My Child?

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Once you finalize your divorce, you may want to start fresh by moving to a different city, state, or even country. However, packing up and leaving is not so simple when there is a child custody agreement involved. Read on to discover whether you need court approval to relocate with your child and how one of the seasoned Somerset County relocation attorneys at Siragusa Law Firm can assist you in filing this request.

Do I need clearance from the court to relocate with my child?

If you intend to move a great distance away with your child, then yes, you will likely need permission from the court to do so. However, this is largely dependent on the type of custody you have of your child, which may be any one of the following:

  • Physical custody: you are the custodial parent and your child lives with you for the majority of the time.
    • You will need permission from the court, as this may prevent your former spouse from seeing your child as often as your child custody agreement permits.
  • Legal custody: you have the right to be involved in making important decisions regarding your child, such as their medical treatment, education, religious practices, etc.
    • You will need permission from the court, and this may prevent you from seeing your child as often as your child custody agreement permits.
  • Sole custody: your former spouse was deemed to be parentally unfit and they do not have physical or legal custody of your child.
    • You may not need permission from the court. However, this is a rare occurrence as the court typically believes that a child benefits from having a relationship with both parents.

What factors will decide whether I can relocate with my child?

All in all, if you have joint custody of your child, you will need to ask your former spouse for permission to relocate with your child. If they deny your request, then you can take this to court. The court will look at the following factors when making its decision:

  • The reasoning for your relocation.
  • The reasoning for your former spouse’s challenging of your relocation.
  • The relationship your child has with both you and your former spouse.
  • Whether the move will improve your child’s quality of life (i.e., their education and social life).
  • Whether the move will improve your child’s economic standing (i.e., you received a higher-paying job offer or you wish to attend higher education).
  • Whether the move will be closer to your child’s extended family.
  • Whether the move will be to a safer area to raise your child.
  • Whether the move is to remove your child from your dangerous former spouse.

For more, consult with a competent Somerset County family law attorney at your earliest convenience.

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