To apply for permission to remove/relocate your child(ren) out of state in an FM case, follow the directions listed below. You can print a copy of these directions to take with you.
- Go to the family intake office of the County courthouse in the county where you got your original custody/visitation order.
View a list of courthouse addresses and phone numbers.
- At the family intake office ask for copies of forms called “Post Judgment Motion Papers”. These papers are also available over the Internet.
View motion papers and instructions.
- You will need to fill out the motion papers with all of the information about why you need to remove/relocate your child(ren) out of state. Some examples of reasons for relocating are:
- Most of your family lives out of state and they can help you care for your child(ren).
- Most of the family of the non-custodial parent lives in the new state.
- You are able to afford better housing in the new state.
- Your child(ren) can get a better education in the new state.
- You can get better services for your child(ren) in the new state.
- You can get a better job in the new state.
- You have remarried and your husband got a job out of state.
- Your employer is requiring that you transfer out of state.
- Procedure for Filing Papers and Appearing in Court
- Make two copies of your papers and file them with the clerk at the family intake office.
Make sure that you get a copy back.
- The clerk will then serve the other parent by sending him or her a copy of your papers.
- Eventually you will receive a notice of a hearing and a date and time to appear at the courthouse.
- On the date of your hearing you will appear before a judge.
- At that hearing the judge will consider the following factors.
- What are your reasons for wanting to move?
- What are the non-custodial parent’s reasons for opposing the move?
- What is the past history of dealings between the parents?
- Will the child(ren) receive educational, health and leisure opportunities at least equal to what is available here in New Jersey?
- Does(do) the child(ren) have any special needs or talents and will the accommodations for these special needs or talents be at least equal to what is available here in new Jersey?
- Can the parent develop a visitation schedule that will allow the non-custodial parent to maintain a full relationship with the child(ren) if the move is allowed?
- What will be the effect of the move on extended family relationships here and in the new location.
- What is the child’s preference if he or she is of age 14 or older?
- Is the child in his or her senior year of high school?
- Does the non-custodial parent have the ability to re-locate?
- The custodial parent bears the burden of telling the court first why he or she wants to move, then the non-custodial parent has to demonstrate that the move is not in the child’s best interest. The fact that a move out of state will change the visitation schedule is not by itself a reason for preventing a move.
- If the judge feels that he or she needs more information, he or she can do the following:
- Order investigations done by the court (sometimes called best interest investigations).
- Order psychological evaluations of parents and child(ren).
- Order medical examinations of the child(ren).
- Order that a school provide records to the court.
- Order that DYFS conduct home evaluations of both parents’ homes.
- Order that DYFS provide records of prior involvement with your family(if there has been prior DYFS involvement).
- Request copies of the child(ren)’s medical records.
- After the judge signs the order you must get a copy of the signed order. You and the non-custodial parent must now follow the directions of the new order.
View more information about the subject of relocation and interference with custody/visitation. and Choose this publication "Parenting Time: A Child's Right- New Jersey Laws Governing Custody and Parenting Time."