Child Relocation After a Divorce in New Jersey

When a divorce happens, couples are required to figure out several new arrangements in order to move forward. If the spouses are parents, they must determine custody arrangements for their children. When this happens, the agreement must be followed because it is a court order, and is therefore law. However, as life moves on, parents can find themselves presented with new life circumstances. There are situations in which a parent may need to relocate for a job opportunity or a family matter.

If a custodial parent has to relocate, they usually want to bring their child with them. This can often become a difficult situation, as the non-custodial parent may not want their child to move away. When this happens, it is important to know that non-custodial parents have the right to fight for their child to not relocate. Cases handling relocation are brought to the court to be settled by a judge.

Physical Custody vs Legal Custody

The two main types of custody are physical and legal. These arrangements are both different, however, neither of them are necessarily more important as they apply to different parts of life. Physical custody determines a child’s custodial parent. This means the child will live with them the majority of the time, but also spend time in their other parent’s residence.

Legal custody determines a parent’s influence in their child’s life. This allows a parent the right to be involved in making important decisions regarding their child’s life. This can be for issues such as medical treatment, the child’s education, religious practices, and more. This can also include relocation. Even if a parent does not have physical custody, they still have a say in the potential relocation of their child.


In August of 2017, the state of New Jersey changed their laws regarding relocation. The state Supreme Court ruled that Courts are required to analyze relocation cases with a “best interest” standard. This means it must be proven that relocating the child would be in their best interest.

During these cases, the court considers several 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
  • Education
  • Social life
  • The reasons for and against the move
  • Other implications of the child and custodial parent moving

When a non-custodial parent opposed relocation, the Court typically requests an evaluation of the child and the family to come to an appropriate decision.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is involved in a relocation case and wishes to speak with an attorney, contact Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C. today.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced defense attorneys throughout the state of New Jersey. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding criminal charges and procedures.