Do parents who share custody need permission to leave New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | Child Custody |

After a divorce, parents generally settle into a new routine. They exchange custody at regular meetups and communicate frequently about their children’s education and health. It is typical for adults in New Jersey to cooperate for the benefit of their children after the end of their relationship.

They also work to redevelop their own lives after their divorce proceedings. That may involve looking for a new relationship, starting a better job or continuing their education. The pursuit of the best opportunities might require that someone leave New Jersey.

Does a parent in a shared custody scenario require permission to leave the state with their children?

Yes, prior authorization is necessary

According to New Jersey family law statutes, parents intending to leave the jurisdiction require advance permission to do so when subject to a custody order. In some cases, the other parent may agree that the relocation is beneficial. They may cooperate with an uncontested custody modification where they update their arrangements to reflect the out-of-state move.

Other times, a parent may worry that the relocation could damage their relationship with the children. They might refuse to cooperate, at which point the matter may need to go before a judge. A New Jersey family law judge hearing a relocation case looks at a family’s history to determine whether the move might be beneficial for the children or not.

They might refuse to grant permission in cases involving a history of parental alienation. However, if the parents have cooperated previously and the move could offer better economic circumstances or give the children access to better educational opportunities, a judge could very well approve the request.

They can make major modifications to the custody arrangement to allow the move and alter how the parents share time with the children. The parent remaining in New Jersey might receive more parenting time during the summer, for example, to make up for the loss of time during the school year due to the distance between the households.

Parents who understand New Jersey’s approach to post-decree custody modifications in move-away scenarios can take the right steps to improve their circumstances as they rebuild after divorce. Understanding what is necessary to relocate with the children may benefit those trying to move on with their lives.