Sharing custody of your children with your ex limits your life in ways that married parenthood does not. You may have days when you have no choice but to leave work if one of your children gets sick while they’re at school. You can’t necessarily accept a new job or make any major life changes without first consulting your ex and possibly a New Jersey family court as well if it means that your children will be spending some or most of their time a considerable distance away from you.
Your ex needs to have a say, especially if you want to do something that will affect your shared parenting arrangement. What does that mean if you want to relocate with your children?
Does your ex agree with the need for the move?
If your ex understands the importance of the move for you and for the children and agrees to rework the custody arrangement to reflect the distance between your two homes after you move, you can request an uncontested modification to your custody arrangement from the New Jersey court. If your ex objects to your plans, then you will need to file a contested modification request.
What guides the decision for a parental relocation request?
As with all other major custody determinations made by the courts in New Jersey, the focus in a contested relocation case will be what is in the best interests of the children. Typically the courts want to see the parents share custody, but a relocation does not necessarily preclude the involvement of both parents.
Provided that you can show that the move is necessary for you and will be beneficial for the kids, the courts may agree to modify the custody order and permit you to relocate even if your ex is not excited about the idea.