Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Child custody issues surrounding relocating the children

At the time of a divorce, parents decide how they will split their parenting time based on the existing circumstances. However, one constant in life is that circumstances change. The custodial parent might want to move either within New Jersey or take the children to another state for work or some other reason. Unless the move does not interfere with the child custody arrangements made during the divorce, that parent cannot simply make a unilateral decision.

If you are the custodial parent and want to move the children -- especially out-of-state -- you will more than likely need the permission of the other parent and the court. Even if the other parent agrees to the move, a new parenting plan and agreement should be drawn up and approved by the court to protect the rights of both parents. Should the other parent oppose the move, you can go to court to seek approval. 

It will be necessary to provide evidence that the move will not unduly harm the children and/or their relationship with the other parent. You will also need to come up with a feasible visitation plan for the other parent. Issues such as transportation costs and communication between the children and the other parent when they are apart should also be addressed. Do not remove the children from New Jersey until court approval is obtained, even if you are doing so with the consent of the other parent.

Whether the other parent agrees to the relocation or not, both of you should seriously consider involving an attorneys in the process to represent each of your interests in this child custody matter. This could help avoid any misunderstandings between the parties. Once court approval has been obtained, you can make the move. 

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