You have gotten that dream job and you are all set to accept the offer. But, there is one issue. The job is located in Florida and you live, with your children, in New Jersey. What is the best way to approach relocating with your children out of state? Here are several tips to help you navigate moving out of state with minor children:
Talk to their other parent about relocating with your children
Unless the two of you are not able to communicate at all, it is advisable to first sit down with the children’s other parent to see if they would be able to give you permission to move to another state with the kids. The law is clear: you are not able to relocate out of New Jersey without the permission of the other parent or of a judge. Moving the children to a new state without permission from either could lead to kidnapping charges against you. At the very least, you will be ordered to return the children to New Jersey immediately. To avoid costly litigation, discuss the move with your ex. Hopefully, the two of you can work out an agreement. And, if you can, get it in writing.
Discuss your rights with an attorney
It always helps to get a professional opinion. Family law attorneys offer a consultation to help you at least feel situated with your rights. Seek out a attorneys who is familiar with the law in New Jersey that governs relocation; specifically the case of Baures v. Lewis, which tells the courts which factors to consider when deciding whether to permit parents to relocate out of state with children.
Begin thinking about a parenting time plan for your kids and you ex
One of the tasks you absolutely must complete is the preparation of a proposed parenting time plan for the children and their other parent, which will then be incorporated into a modification of your child custody order. How will you ensure that they will spend comparable time with your ex? Are you willing to have them live with their other parent for the entire summer? How about other breaks from school and the holidays? Calculate how many overnights your children spend with their other parent and try to come up with a plan that is very close to that amount.
Do your research into relocating
If it comes to having to go to court, the judge will want to know all about your new city. Is it a safe area? How are the schools? How is the crime rate? Who will be the children’s pediatrician? Their dentist? Will you be living with family when you get to your new state? What support do you have there? A lot of information and a comparison tool are available at www.relocationessentials.com. As the parent wishing to move, you have the burden to prove to the court that where you are looking to move is at least as good for your children as where they reside in New Jersey?
Do not move without permission
If you move without permission from your ex or from a judge, you could be subject to criminal charges for kidnapping your children. In any event when you do return and go through the proper channels to obtain permission from the court, your prior move without permission will not be looked upon favorably by the judge. You certainly do not want the court to think that you are unreasonable or unwilling to work with your children’s other parent. That will almost guarantee that you will not be permitted to move.
If you are considering relocating out of the state of New Jersey with your minor children and wish to discuss your rights and obligations, please contact us to schedule your initial consultation with one our family attorneys experienced in relocation matters.
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