In Orr v. Johnson, an unpublished decision (meaning not precedential), the Appellate Division reviewed a jurisdictional issue between two parents – one living in New Jersey and one living in Virginia – and whether the written agreement between them was conclusive of jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”).  Because the

In today’s ever-increasing mobile society, divorced or separate families find themselves relocating for a variety of reasons, including employment opportunities, new relationships, financial incentives and to be closer to family.

But what happens after families relocate out-of-state and child custody issues arise? Which state has jurisdiction to hear the matter?

Background

In 1968, the Uniform

Family law and estate law are undoubtedly two very personal areas of the law that often cross-over with one another depending on the issues at hand.  In the Matter of the Estate of Michael D. Fisher, II presents us with one of the more tragic factual scenarios where the two worlds intertwine.

kids

These are the

A very common question asked by divorced parents is whether the custodial parent has the right to move with the child either to another state (interstate) or to another location within New Jersey (intrastate).   In light of these questions, a review of the applicable legal standards for interstate and intrastate moves should provide some guidance.

INTERSTATE MOVE

 

N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 is designed to protect the parenting relationship between a child and a noncustodial parent when the custodial parent seeks to move to another state. In light of 9:2-2, the New Jersey Supreme Court in its seminal decision of Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001) developed a set of 12 factors to consider when reviewing a custodial parent’s removal application (which have also been applied to an international move).   These factors are:

 

1.        The reasons given for the move;

2.       The reasons given for the opposition;

3.       The past history of dealings between the parties insofar as it bears on the reasons advanced by both parties for supporting and opposing the move;

4.       Whether the child will receive educational, health and leisure opportunities at least equal to what is available here;

5.       Any special needs or talents of the child that require accommodation and whether such accommodation or its equivalent is available in the new location;

6.       Whether a visitation and communication schedule can be developed that will allow the noncustodial parent to maintain a full and continuous relationship with the child;

7.       The likelihood that the custodial parent will continue to foster the child’s relationship with the noncustodial parent if the move is allowed;

8.       The effect of the move on extended family relationships here and in the new location;

9.       If the child is of age, his or her preference;

10.   Whether the child is entering his or her senior year in high school at which point he or she should generally not be moved until graduation without his or her consent;

11.   Whether the noncustodial parent has the ability to relocate; and

12.   Any other factor bearing on the child’s interest.

 


Continue Reading Moves by a Custodial Parent Within the State and Outside of the State – What are the Considerations?