Can I Move From NJ With my Kids After Divorce?February 20, 2012 by: L. Hinkle
Finally, after months of painful litigation, your unhappy marriage is now officially over. You have a Final Order of Divorce in your hand, a new home, a new schedule, and a new life to lead. You and your children are safe, happy, and looking forward to what lies ahead. The only problem? Your former spouse was the bread-winner in the home for years and now you find yourself hard-pressed, even with your spousal and child support payments coming in regularly, to make ends meet financially. You’ve looked everywhere in New Jersey for work, but no one is hiring. You don’t want to live on unemployment forever and you can’t live on your monthly support payments alone, so you begin to look for work elsewhere. After weeks of diligent searching, you finally find employment in another State. You inform the ex and start making plans to move, but that’s when things get complicated. Your former spouse insists that you cannot under any circumstances leave the State of New Jersey with your children to take the job. He says he “forbids it.” He absolutely will not give you permission to relocate with the children. He says that you can go…but the children will be staying with him. And to make matters worse, he makes it clear to you that once the children move in with him, it’s you who is going to be paying child support. You need a job, but leaving your children behind with your ex defeats the purpose of seeking new employment to begin with and may actually leave you worse off financially than when you started your search. He says you can’t go under any circumstances if you are taking the children. He says it’s the law. Is there anything you can do? Well, there just might be.
In the State of New Jersey, as in many other States, it is true that where parents have separated it is not permissible for the parent with whom the children live to simply relocate to another State without the permission of the other parent. BUT, that doesn’t mean you are sunk. If you cannot get the permission of your former spouse to relocate, you may very well get help from the courts. When you want to move to another State with your children, but your former spouse will not consent to the move, you can apply to the court and ask for permission to move, over the objection of your ex. This is what is known in legal circles as a “Bauers Motion” and it takes its name from the case which guides us through the process.
There are legal hurdles you must clear in order gain approval from the court to move, standards you must meet and items you must prove. First, and most importantly, you need a “good faith reason” for the move. Are you taking better employment than what is available here in New Jersey? Are you seeking the support of a family you left behind when you were first married? These are just a couple of examples of things which can and frequently are seen as “good faith reasons” for a move out of State with children of a terminated marriage. Secondly, you also will need to submit a proposed parenting plan to the court, showing that the time your ex-spouse will spend with his children will not be so severely curtailed so as to effectively end his relationship with them. If you can meet these two standards, you are getting close to your goal of being legally permitted to move out of State with your children. It’s not a simple process and it’s not a speedy one either in most cases, but if you need to move and you think you can show the court a “good faith reason” for doing so, come talk to one of our attorneys, free of charge. Let us analyze your entire situation and give you a fully-informed legal opinion. We handle these and other matrimonial matters every day in our office and we can handle yours too. Let us help move you forward by moving you onward! Call 856-227-7888 and get an appointment today.