There would seem to be no middle ground when one parent seeks to relocate with the children. A judge will either grant or deny the petition. In reality, the situation is not so black and white. If relocation is authorized, both parents will have to make concessions and accommodations for the sake of the children.
At Capehart Scatchard we know that parent relocation is one of the most complex and volatile scenarios. Our family law attorneys have helped clients resolve these disputes without litigation but we have also gone to court to fight for or against relocation.
By law, a parent with primary physical custody must obtain court permission to move out of state or a considerable distance within New Jersey. That parent must show a legitimate reason for depriving the other parent of regular contact, such as a better-paying job, better schools or a family support network.
- We have represented custodial parents in convincing the court that the move is necessary, that it serves the best interests of the child, and that the child’s bond with the noncustodial parent will be fostered.
- We have also represented noncustodial parents in arguing that the other parent is relocating for spiteful or self-serving reasons, such as a new love interest, and that the petitioner will undermine his or her relationship with the child.
If parent relocation is granted, it will be necessary to modify the parenting plan and possibly child support obligations. We help clients work out the details of holidays, summer vacation, travel expenses and other considerations necessary to a healthy and practical co-parenting arrangement.