If a parent is going to move out of the state or out of the country, surely he or she can make application for the custody and move the children. Now the question is, what’s the pushback? Is mother in favor of this? The judge is going to go into an overall analysis of what is in the best interest of the child.
If a dad decides that he’s moving out of the state or out of the country, a judge is not going to permit Dad to now apply for custody. The application can be made. Unless there’s pushback from Mom, the application would be granted. If Mom is against it, Mom would win.
What ultimately would happen though is that the judge or the court system would attempt to foster a situation where, again, Dad can be actively involved in the children’s lives. That might be a situation where Dad spends the entire summer with the children, that the children travel back and forth quite often during their school recesses. But, again, the whole situation is fact-sensitive, and ultimately the judges or the court is going to look at what is the best interest of those children – including a stable home environment with consistent contact with a school system and with things that they are accustomed to. It’s going to be one of the overriding factors.
Rosalyn Charles is a family lawyer practicing in Newark, New Jersey.