Out-of-State Relocation Post-Bisbing
Relocating interstate with your children could be stressful. Even more, taxing is when a custodial parent is attempting to relocate in the face of the non-custodial parent’s objections.
N.J.S.A.9:2-2 prohibits a separated or divorced parent from permanently relocating the parties’ minor children out-of-state. To make determinations regarding interstate relocation, courts are guided by N.J.S.A.9:2-2 and Bisbing v.Bisbing, 230 N.J. 309, 334 (2017). Bisbing overruled Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91(2001), which was the seminal case for interstate relocation for over sixteen years. In so doing, it held that courts should conduct a best interest analysis in all contested relocation disputes whether the custody arrangement designates a parent of primary residence, a parent of alternate residence, or provides for equally shared custody, to determine “cause” for removal under N.J.S.A.9:2-2. Bisbing v.Bisbing, 230 N.J. 309, 335 (2017). Nevertheless, in conducting the best interest analysis, the parent of primary residence “may have important insights about the arrangement that will most effectively serve the child.” Ibid. Last year, the Appellate Division decided Dever v. Howell, which reinforced that “cause” is not optional and must be requested by the relocating parent prior to the relocation not after.
If you are a parent seeking to relocate with your children, please contact the lawyers of Velazquez Law who are well versed in this area of the law.