Complications of parental relocation

While it may not seem like it now, summer is just around the corner, and the summer months are prime moving season for many reasons. Parents with children often plan long-distance or even just out-of-school-district moves during the summer so that their children can finish out the school year and be settled in to their new environment before starting new classes.

Moving is rarely an easy process, and long-distance moves can be especially difficult. However, divorced parents attempting to move with their children face an entirely separate set of challenges. Any time you are under a court order as far as custody or visitation — also commonly known as parenting time — moving is not as simple as packing, hauling and unpacking.

In general, New Jersey law requires parents relocating with their children to either have approval from the other parent or the approval of the family courts. It’s important to understand that this is for moves that may make it difficult for the non-moving parent to exercise their parenting time. A move within the same school district may be fine, but a move out of the town, county or state will likely need to be approved through the courts.

Even in cases where both parents are agreeable to the move, the moving parent must still formally notify the other parent, file an intent to relocate the child with the courts and make sure everything is appropriately finalized. Seeking accurate and up to date information from an experienced family law attorney is the best way to ensure that you follow the proper steps.


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