Child Relocation – Custodial and Non-Custodial

Parents Moving out of State

Child custody lawyers protect your rights with a parental relocationRelocating for a new job or a pending remarriage are two major events that someone normally looks forward to. When you are sharing custody of a child or children, however, relocating from New York or New Jersey may require consent of the other parent or an order of the court.

If you are divorced with children or if you were never married but have a child custody order, you must seek legal advice regarding any potential move.

The law firm of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. can help you if you are seeking to move with children, or if you wish to contest the other parent’s attempt to relocate with your children. Our highly credentialed family law attorneys have counseled individuals, couples and families in our New York and New Jersey communities for almost four decades on issues pertaining to joint custody relocation.

Understanding child relocation

Each state has its own laws regarding when a parent must seek permission to relocate a child. For example, in New Jersey, the parent of a minor must seek permission if the minor was born in NJ or lived there for at least 5 years, and the move is either out of state or far enough away that it would disrupt a parenting plan already ordered by the court.

In New York, it is important to look at the terms of any existing custody order. These will typically spell out a radius and any move beyond that radius will require the other parent’s permission or court approval.

Reasons for parental relocation

There are many reasons for a parent to consider relocating with a child – some legitimate and some not. The court will take a close look at the reasons in determining what is in the best interest of the child.

Some legitimate reasons include:

  • Remarriage
  • Job changes
  • Financial opportunities
  • Illness or injury treated by specialized health care in another state
  • Military transfer

One bad faith reason, however, is spite. When one parent desires to move in order it make it more difficult for the other parent to participate in the lives of the children, a court will deny the request.

If you are concerned that your former spouse is misusing parental relocation as an excuse to make your visitations more difficult, our attorneys can help you find out the truth. We offer thoughtful guidance and legal leadership that can bring an end to these disputes. If an agreement cannot be reached and your parental relocation must be litigated in court, we can aggressively defend your position before a judge.

How joint custody affects relocation in New York & New Jersey

Courts in New York and New Jersey try to ensure that children can maintain relationships with each of their parents. They analyze a number of factors to determine whether the separation from one parent will be in the best interest of the child.

Relocating with child after divorce

In New Jersey, if the parents do in fact have joint custody (not just on paper, but with equal parental involvement and joint decision-making), the court will scrutinize the planned relocation more closely than if one parent were not actively involved. The court will hold a hearing to determine the best interest of the child. If one parent does relocate, the court will modify the custody order so that the parent with whom the child resides will be the primary custodial parent.

How our child custody relocation attorneys can help

The divorce and family law attorneys of KGG counsel individuals and families in Rockland County, NY and Bergen County, New Jersey. We offer advice and support on many child relocation issues, including:

  • What happens when the non-custodial parent moves away?
  • How can a non-custodial parent moving out of state retain a relationship with the child?
  • Can the custodial parent move out of state?
  • When can a parent take a child out of state?

How to win a relocation custody case

The key to winning a child relocation case is understanding how the court views the issues. Parents may be tempted to focus on the big picture issues, but the court will always focus on the best interest of the child.

Some of the things the court will look at in determining the child’s best interest may include:

  • The parent’s reasons for relocating
  • The strength and nature of the relationship between the child and each parent
  • The effect the move would have on the child’s emotional well-being and educational opportunities, as well as the family’s finances
  • The impact the move would have on the visitation already in place

Knowing how to address these concerns is an important step in winning a relocation case. The court’s paramount concern is that the proposed move would be in the best interest of the children.

If the proposed relocation is granted, parents will need to adjust the parenting time schedule to ensure the non-custodial parent is able to maintain a relationship with the children.

KGG attorneys use extensive legal knowledge and talent for thoughtful recommendations to keep families intact after an out-of-state parental relocation. We can facilitate travel scheduling plans and use of high-tech devices such as web cameras and smart phones to allow both parents to continue to have prominent roles in their child’s life.

Speak with a child custody lawyer at KGG

If you intend to request a parental or child relocation, or contest a child removal proposed by a former spouse, the lawyers at  Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman are here to offer sound legal guidance.

We invite you to reach out for a consultation in our offices in Rockland County, New York or Bergen County, New Jersey.

Additional Parental Relocation Resources:

  1., Court changes rules for divorced parent who wants to leave N.J. with child,
  2. New Jersey Courts, Parenting Time: A Child’s Right,
  3. NY Courts, New York City Family Court,

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