What New Jersey Parents Need to Know about Moving a Child Out of State

Parental Relocation and Child Custody Attorney in Bergen County, New Jersey

If you are a parent seeking to relocate out of New Jersey with your child, or your child’s other parent is considering moving out-of-state with them, it is essential to understand your rights and the way that Courts make decisions regarding parental relocation. At The Elfant Rickett Law Firm, we concentrate entirely on New Jersey family law matters, including child custody and parental relocation. Our firm’s founder, Rosa Rickett, is a highly experienced New Jersey family law attorney who has handled some of the most challenging child custody cases, including international child custody disputes. Below is the story of one of Rosa’s clients who faced an extreme parental relocation issue on an international scale:

When I hired Rosa, I had not seen my children in almost 2 years, as they were being held hostage by my husband in Saudi Arabia. My husband lured me into Saudi Arabia where he got a job on a temporary basis, proceeded to divorce me behind my back and get custody of our 3 children, through the Islamic Religious Court, as a result of which I was thrown out of the country and with my custodial rights being terminated. Once I got back to NJ, I hired a lawyer who led me through the courts into the wrong direction costing me unnecessary legal fees. Rosa, was recommended to me and she knew how to proceed right away. Rosa strategized on my behalf. She filed a Complaint of Divorce here in NJ, and an application with the court seeking to have my three children returned back to NJ. Rosa also sought to have the Saudi Arabian divorce and custody orders thrown out or not recognized by our NJ Courts. After months of Court Proceedings and a complicated trial, involving many experts and fact witnesses, Rosa had my children returned to my custody in NJ. She also had the Saudi Arabia divorce and custody orders thrown out of the court. I cannot express enough about the mountain that Rosa helped me move. She returned my children to me in Saudi. Hire Rosa, she’s a strategic ethical family trial lawyer, who will always do what is in your best interests, who had my children returned to me from Saudi Arabia. – Mona

To read more of our client reviews, visit our Client Reviews page or access Rosa’s Individual Profile on Avvo.com. You can also contact our offices in Hackensack anytime at 201.968.5700 or submit an online contact form to schedule a consultation about you or your child’s parent moving out of New Jersey. We can thoroughly explain all of your legal options with regard to child custody and discuss the process moving forward.

Parental Relocation Requests in New Jersey

If your child was born in New Jersey or has lived in New Jersey for at least five years, you are required to request permission from the child’s other parent or from the Court in order to relocate with the child to another state. In a situation in which the other parent agrees, he or she can sign a consent order permitting the change in your child custody arrangement. On the other hand, if your child’s other parent contests you moving out-of-state with the child, you must file a formal motion with the Court for permission.

New Jersey Law for Moving Children out of State: Section 9:2-2

The law that governs parental relocation affecting child custody can be found in Section 9:2-2 of the New Jersey statutes, which provides:

§ 9:2-2. Custody of children of divorced or separated parents within jurisdiction of Superior Court; removal from jurisdiction; consent; security

When the Superior Court has jurisdiction over the custody and maintenance of the minor children of parents divorced, separated or living separate, and such children are natives of this State, or have resided five years within its limits, they shall not be removed out of its jurisdiction against their own consent, if of suitable age to signify the same, nor while under that age without the consent of both parents, unless the court, upon cause shown, shall otherwise order. The court, upon application of any person in behalf of such minors, may require such security and issue such writs and processes as shall be deemed proper to effect the purposes of this section.

The Legal Standard for Parental Relocation

The body of case law in the realm of New Jersey family law is ever-evolving and expanding to reflect changing patterns in the way we live today and to provide further clarification of existing laws and standards. With regard to parental relocation, New Jersey recently saw a significant change in the way Courts will decide these matters. Specifically, the NJ Supreme Court modified the standard when considering requests to move children out-of-state. While the previous standard was “will the move cause harm to the child?” the new standard is “is the move in the child’s bests interests?” This new precedent is extremely important, as it shifts the burden from the parent opposing a parental relocation request to the parent seeking to relocate. Also, the focus is now concentrated on the child, as opposed to the parent. Now, parent relocation decisions operate under the same legal standard as typical child custody determinations, prioritizing the best interests of the child above all else.

Hackensack Lawyer for Child Custody Relocation Matters

If you are requesting to move out-of-state with your children or seeking to oppose such a request, these battles are exceedingly complex and often highly contentious. In order to protect your rights as a parent and to promote the best interests of your child, it is absolutely imperative to have an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney advocating on your behalf. The family law team at The Elfant Rickett Law Firm is committed to fighting for you. With offices in Hackensack, we assist clients in Bergen County, Morris County, Essex County, Passaic County, Hudson County, and throughout New Jersey. Call 201.968.5700 now to schedule a consultation about your parental relocation case and find the answers you need.

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Areas we serve

The Elfant Rickett Law Firm Serves Clients throughout New Jersey, including in: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County.

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