Moving Children Out Of New Jersey By The Custodial Parent

​Are you seeking to move out of New Jersey with the children, but your ex-spouse will not allow the move?  Or, are you seeking to prohibit your ex-spouse from moving out of New Jersey with the children?  In New Jersey, if the non-custodial parent does not consent to the move, the custodial parent must obtain a Court Order allowing the move.

The current prevailing case on this matter when the parties do not have a shared parenting arrangement is Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001).   The custodial parent seeking to move must first make a prima facie showing that the move is in good faith and will not be detrimental to the child.  After the moving party has produced sufficient evidence to make this prima facie showing, the non-custodial parent contesting the move has the burden of showing that the move is not in good faith or is detrimental to the child.

The Supreme Court listed the following factors relevant to the analysis of whether the move is in good faith and will not be inimical to the child:

The reasons given for the move;

  • The reasons given for the opposition to the move
  • The past history of dealings between the parties insofar as it bears on the reasons advanced by both parties for supporting or opposing the move
  • Whether the child will receive education, health, and leisure opportunities at least equal to what is available here
  • Any special needs or talents of the child that require accommodation and whether such accommodation or its equivalent is available in the new location
  • Whether a visitation and communication schedule can be developed that will allow the noncustodial parent to maintain a full and continuous relationship with the child
  • The likelihood that the custodial parent will continue to foster the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent if the move is allowed
  • The effect of the move on extended family relationships here and in the new location
  • If the child is of age, his or her preference
  • Whether the child is entering his or her senior year in high school at which point he or she should generally not be moved without his or her consent until graduation
  • Whether the noncustodial parent has the ability to relocate
  • Any other factor bearing on the child’s interest.
This standard does not apply to true shared residential parenting arrangements.  When the parties have a shared parenting arrangement, the standard that applies, which will be posted in a future blog on this website, is changed circumstances and best interest of the child.

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