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Relocation issues regarding child custody

New Jersey residents may understand the idea that change is often complex. Yet, people understand that being part of a mobile society could mean moving to a different geographical area for job advancement or other life choices. If a custodial parent plans to move, this may be problematic for both parents and children. Often, parents may fail to reach an agreement, and it is left to the courts to decide if the custodial parent can relocate.

States have different rules that govern child custody, but they share a basic belief in options that provide for the best interests of the child. Some states have permissive move-away laws that ask the non-custodial parent to prove the move will be harmful to the child. More restrictive states may ask the custodial parent to justify how the move will actually be good for the child.

The court will consider factors such as the age of the child, the relationship both parents have with their child and whether the parents share physical custody or not. Also, the distance the move may entail, the reason the move is contemplated and the child's custody preference may be evaluated.

In New Jersey, child custody has both legal and physical components. While there are a range of custody agreements, the courts believe the child will benefit most from being raised by both parents. If one parent wishes to move either to another state, country or even within the same state, the approval of the other parent must be received or the court may become involved. An attorney could provide information about the options a parent may have. An attorney may also assist the parent in relocation requests to the court.Source: New Jersey State Bar Association, 'Financial Impact of Relocation/ Removal: Modification of Child Support," 2012

Source: The Huffington Post, "In the Child's Best Interest: What It Means in Move-Away Cases", Lisa Helfend Meyer, February 12, 2014

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