Child Custody And Parent Relocation
Attorney Frank Tournour has represented clients in East Brunswick for over 30 years. He has handled many cases involving the right of a custodial parent to relocate. Whether you are considering relocating or you want to contest relocation, we can help at Tournour Law.
Can A Parent Relocate With A Child?
Every case and situation is unique. The type of custody arrangement you have makes a difference. The custodial parent has the right to move freely for work and other circumstances. The other parent, however, has a right to have a relationship with the child. When one parent wants to move a considerable distance from the other (even within New Jersey), that parent must obtain permission from the other parent or the court.
When There Is Not A Custody Order In Place
If no custody order is in place, one parent cannot take the child out of state against the other parent’s wishes. Doing so could result in kidnapping charges and an eventual loss of custodial rights.
When one parent wants to move a considerable distance from the other (even within the same state), they must obtain permission from the other parent or the court.
Sole Or Primary Physical Custody
A parent who has sole physical custody (or primary custody) can generally move with the child as long as he or she proves the relocation is in good faith. This means the move has to be for a job or a spouse’s job, or to live closer to family, and is not being done to interfere with the other parent’s relationship. The parent wanting to relocate must prove that the child will have the same or improved opportunities regarding health care, education and recreation. The relocating parent must also provide a proposed visitation plan. Generally, in cases of sole or primary custody, the child spends school holidays and breaks with the noncustodial parent and the rest of the year with the custodial parent.
Joint Legal And Physical Custody
According to New Jersey state law, if both parents truly share both legal and physical custody, the court will approach the matter as a custody modification. Due to the changing circumstances, joint custody will no longer be an option and have to change. Hearings will take place in which the court will determine what is in the best interest of the child. The court will then appoint one of the parents with primary physical custody.
Factors That May Affect The Custody Arrangement
Every situation comes with its own unique set of facts and circumstances. The court will look at a variety of factors when reviewing child custody arrangements and relocations:
- Each parent’s finances
- Any special needs of the child
- The child’s relationship with each parent and extended family members
- If age-appropriate, the child’s own preferences
If one parent has better job security or a higher salary, that may play a role in the court’s determination. It all ultimately depends on the child’s best interests.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you are considering relocating or you want to contest a relocation, contact Tournour Law today by calling 732-913-3634 or emailing us through our website to schedule an initial consultation. We are here to help ensure that your child’s best interests are upheld.