Once a divorce is official, the former spouses are able to move on with their lives. As life continues, new circumstances can present themselves. Sometimes, these situations can require an individual to move. This may be due to a job opportunity or family matters. However, when the individual is a parent, this situation can become more difficult if they wish to bring their child with them.
When a parent has to move, they usually want their child to relocate as well. Many times, the other parent will oppose this move as they want their child to stay close to them as well. This may require them to go through litigation to settle the matter. It is important to know that while a non-custodial parent does not have physical custody of their child, they have the right to fight for their child to stay in these situations.
Physical Custody vs Legal Custody
Custody arrangements that are determined during divorce proceedings can establish physical and legal custody of a child. These are two different concepts that are both important. They both cover separate aspects of a child’s life. Physical custody determines a custodial parent. This settles where the child will live with the majority of their time. However, a child will still spend time in the house of the non-custodial parent as well.
Legal custody is in regard to the amount of influence a parent has in their child’s life. This allows a parent to be involved in making decisions regarding the important matters of the child’s life. This includes issues such as medical treatment, the child’s education, religious practices, and even relocation. Even if a parent does not have physical custody, it is important to fight for legal custody of the child. This can benefit them in many ways, especially in the event of their child’s possible relocation.
In August of 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court changed the laws regarding child relocation. The new ruling states that the court is required to make decisions in these cases with the “best interest” standard. This means to rule in favor of the relocation, it must be proven that the move would be in the child’s best interest, despite moving away from their other parent.
During cases of relocation, the court considers many different factors to come to a decision. This can include:
- The bond between the child and each parent
- The impact of the move on the child’s established relationships
- Social life
- The reasons for and against the move
- Other implications of the child and custodial parent moving
When the other parent opposes their child’s relocation, the court typically has a mental health professional conduct an evaluation of the child and the family. This helps the court come to an appropriate decision.
Contact our Firm
Before taking any sort of legal action, it is important to discuss your legal matter with an experienced attorney. Contact The Radol Law Firm to discuss any divorce and family law matters you may be faced with.