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Relocation After New Jersey Divorce | What to Know

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Many people view divorce as the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. After a divorce, some people wish to start fresh in a different state, city, or even country. But, this can be difficult if you share custody. If you are a parent who shares custody and you are interested in relocating with your child, read on to learn more about New Jersey’s relocation laws.

Physical vs. Legal Custody

It is important to understand the two main forms of custody in New Jersey:

  • Physical custody: This refers to the parent or guardian who has the child more nights per week. The child’s nights may also be evenly divided, depending on what works best.
  • Legal custody: This refers to the parent who makes the important decisions regarding the child. These decisions may include issues such as academics and medical options, among others. It is important to note that both parents have the opportunity for legal custody, even if only one parent has physical custody.

New Jersey Relocation Laws

In 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court signed a new law regarding relocation. It stated that all courts are required to make child-related decisions with the “best interest” standard. This means putting the child’s best interest first. During relocation cases, this requires the parent to prove that relocation would be in the best interest of the child despite moving away from their other parent.

How do I Prove Relocation is in My Child’s Best Interest?

New Jersey courts strongly believe that children benefit greatly from having a relationship with both parents. As a result, a judge may see separating a child from the other parent as damaging and would be hesitant to do so, unless proven beneficial to the child. In order for the court to reach a conclusion regarding what is in the child’s best interest, the court will consider the following factors: 

  • The bond between the child and each parent
  • The impact of the move on the child’s established relationships
  • Education
  • Social life
  • The reasons for and against the move
  • Other implications of the child and custodial parent moving

In order to provide proof that relocating is in your child’s best interest, you should reach out to an experienced family law attorney. Our firm is here to advocate for you and walk you through the process every step of the way.

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If you require experienced legal representation for a matter of Family Law, Supplemental Security Income, Medical Malpractice, Social Security Disability, or Legal Malpractice, Siragusa Law Firm is here to help. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your case.


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