Mount Laurel Child Custody Attorneys

The first thing to keep in mind regarding child custody is that the court will always act in what it believes to be the best interests of a child. In New Jersey, determining child custody depends on a number of factors. These factors typically fall into the following general categories:

  • The emotional needs of a child: How stable is each parent? Is there a history of mental abuse or neglect? Does a child suffer from a psychological condition that recommends awarding custody to a particular parent? In the case of older children, which parent does a child prefer?
  • The physical needs or well-being of a child: What is the environment of each parent’s home? Are there concerns that a child will be physically neglected or abused? Does a child have special needs regarding a medical condition?
  • The situation of each parent: What is the financial situation of each parent? What are the employment or work responsibilities of each parent? To what extent is each parent willing to be involved in their child’s life and to what extent has each exhibited a commitment in this regard?

In cases in which parents are not interested in shared or joint custody, the court will award custody to the parent it believes will promote and protect the best interests of a child. The noncustodial parent will have visitation or “parenting time” rights according to a plan approved by the court.

What Happens If One Parent Wants to Move Away?

Regardless of whether or not a custodial or noncustodial parent wants to move out of town or out of state, they must first get a court approved postdivorce modification and the permission of the other parent. Even if parents share custody link to, any change in a parent’s situation that could affect the agreed-upon child custody arrangements in a divorce agreement must be reviewed first by the court. Failure to do so could result in a charge of contempt of court and certain sanctions regarding existing child custody arrangements. Consequently, a parent — custodial, noncustodial or otherwise — cannot simply move away without first obtaining a postdivorce modification.

Postdivorce Modifications and Child Custody Arrangements

Regardless of whether a parent has a good reason to move — job commitments, caring for an ailing family member or personal preference — the law requires a parent to do the following:

  • Notify the noncustodial or custodial parent regarding any intent to move
  • Notify the noncustodial or custodial parent of the location where they intend to move
  • Notify the noncustodial or custodial parent of the reason(s) for the move
  • Submit a proposed child custody plan accommodating the move in question

Parental Relocations and New Jersey Courts

The court will review the proposed parental relocation to determine if it is in the best interests of the child. Here, the court will consider access to education opportunities, healthcare issues, whether extended family live in the area and how the move will affect the child’s ability to engage in hobbies or sports or practice their faith. The court will also consider the practical side of visitation under the new arrangement and how that could affect the ability of a child to spend time with the relocated parent.

If the court approves the parental relocation, a new parenting schedule must be provided, including a reasonable inventory of travel expenses, how vacations will be allotted, what will happen during school vacations, etc. If the parental relocation is not approved, the parent intending to relocate must change his or her plans or be held in contempt of court.

Contact Mount Laurel Child Custody Attorneys

Whether you are thinking of moving out of state or to the next town over, you still need a postdivorce modification. To discuss your case and learn what you need to do to maintain your child custody rights, contact Mount Laurel child custody attorneys link to Contact Us at Taylor & Boguski, LLC today.