One destructive strategy a resentful parent may resort to is moving out of state with the child without notice or leaving a forwarding address. This parent often thinks, mistakenly, that by leaving the state with the child, child custody motions filed in New Jersey or scheduled court hearings in the custody matter are no longer valid.
New Jersey law is clear on the issue of leaving the state with a child. You, as the parent, are not permitted to move out of the state of New Jersey with your child without first obtaining the other biological parent’s consent, even if you have a job lined up in the other state or most of your family lives there.
If consent is refused, then you must obtain a court order before leaving. If you leave the state with your child prior to receiving consent or a court order, a judge can require that you return with the child and the judge can impose sanctions against you, including changes of child custody or supervised parenting time.
In extreme cases you may be accused of kidnapping. Your attorney can help you understand all of the elements that the court considers when deciding whether or not it will permit a move with your child.
Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.