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Can I Move out of State with the Children? Yes and No.
Children who are natives of the State of New Jersey or who have resided in New Jersey for five years may not be removed from the jurisdiction without the consent of both parents or an appropriate Court Order. This law applies to separated or divorcing parents. Past judicial decisions require the custodial parent to demonstrate a benefit to the move before the Court would grant removal. However, more recent decisions have held that in determining whether the custodial parent should be permitted to move from the jurisdiction, emphasis should not be on whether the children or custodial parent would benefit but on whether the children will suffer from it. In a New Jersey Supreme Court decision in 1988 entitled Holder v. Polanski, 11 N.J. 344 (1988), the Court established the following test for removal:
The Courts are becoming more keen to the right of the custodial parents to move freely within the United States. After all, the non-custodial parent has the freedom to move and why shouldn't the custodial parent have equal rights? The analysis becomes complex because the right of the custodial parent to move will usually affect the non-custodial parent's relationship with the child or children. However, the Courts have now ruled that the loss of the non-custodial parents frequent co-parenting time can be partially salvaged by less frequent co-parenting periods but of longer duration.
In New Jersey, a separation agreement is any legal document signed by both spouses outlining the terms of the separation. Subjects resolved in a separation agreement can include child support, child custody, debt allocation and asset distribution. Notarizing the document ensures its validity, since there is no such case-type in New Jersey that provides for a "legal separation." Spouses wanting child support during the separation period, however, must file a claim with the New Jersey probation department.
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