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Hackensack Relocation Lawyers

Navigating Custody Laws for Bergen County Families

One common scenario in divorce and family law litigation involves a custodial parent’s desire to move out of state with the parties’ child. It is accepted that no other area of family law generates more litigation, as unlike most other areas of divorce and family law, there whether a child may relocate with a parent across the country is essentially an all-or-nothing proposition, with little middle ground, and therefore little room for negotiation.

At Laterra & Hodge, LLC, our Hackensack attorneys help guide you through this often complex process, always keeping your best interests in mind. Call (201) 580-2240 to learn more.

Understanding New Jersey’s Relocation Laws

Relocation applications are governed, in the first instance, by New Jersey statute. Specifically, N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 provides that no parent shall permanently move a child out of New Jersey unless one of three of the following exists:

  • The child consents to the move, and is of a suitable age to consent
  • Both parties consent to the move
  • The court, upon a showing of good cause, enters an order permitting the move

Where neither of the first two scenarios exist and court is called upon to determine whether it will find good cause for the move, and whether that determination falls upon the resolution of disputed material facts, the court will have to conduct a plenary hearing, also known as a relocation hearing or a removal hearing.

Custody & Your Child’s Best Interests

A critical issue for these hearings concerns what standard the court will use in determining whether the move should be permitted. In circumstances in which the parties have a true shared parenting arrangement, then the request to move is deemed akin to a request for a change in custody, such that the issue becomes whether the move (and consequent change in the custodial arrangement) is in the best interests of the child.

In contrast, where one parent can demonstrate that he or she has clear primary residential custody and that the other parent has parenting time that is not anywhere near 50% of the time with the child, then the standard that the parent seeking to move is considerably less.

Specifically, in such circumstances, the parent seeking to move needs to show two things:

  • A good faith reason for the move (and this is a pretty low standard); and
  • That the move is nor inimical (or adverse to the child’s interests).

The Hackensack child custody attorneys at Laterra & Hodge, LLC are well-versed in all of the intricacies of relocation law, with extensive experience in trial opposition and seeking permission to move. Call (201) 580-2240 to schedule your free consultation.

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