Relocation cases are some of the most difficult in the family court. On one hand, New Jersey recognizes the personal freedom that parents should have to pursue better or happier lives in other states. On the other hand, New Jersey also recognizes how traumatic that can be to the relationship between children and the parent left behind in New Jersey. Because our judges are so sensitive to these competing interests, we have developed a very complex body of law on the issue with different legal standards of review. If someone wants to move while a divorce is pending, a judge is guided by what custodial arrangement would be in the best interest of the child. If someone wants to move after a divorce, the judge will balance the benefit of the move to the moving spouse against the detriment to the child of losing a specific parenting schedule with the spouse that remains in New Jersey. That balancing test involves 14 separate factors. If someone wants to move after a divorce when the parents share an equal 50-50 parenting schedule, there is yet a third test that focuses on preserving the parenting schedule.
A partner at Keith, Winters & Wenning, LLC, Cipora Winters has been exclusively practicing family and matrimonial law for almost 20 years in New Jersey and New York. She has the knowledge and experience to help