Can a Court Prohibit Me from Moving?

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New Jersey's Relocation Statute, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 9:2-2, prohibits persons going through a divorce or divorced people from relocating outside the State of New Jersey without the consent of the other parent or an Order from the Court.

Until recently, the Courts did not restrict a divorced or divorcing parent from relocating within the State of New Jersey.   In P.P. v. N.P. (Docket No. A-1246-10T3), the Appellate Division issued a decision affirming a Trial Court Decision prohibiting the Parent of Primary Residence from Monmouth County from moving to Verona, New Jersey, which is over one hour away.

In affirming the Trial Court's Order prohibiting the Parent of Primary Residence from moving, the Appellate Division relied upon the language of the parties' Marital Settlement Agreement, wherein the parties agreed "not to do anything which may estrange their children from the other party."  In addition, the Trial Court found that one of the reasons the Parent of Primary Residence wanted to move to Verona was to "make it difficult for the other parent to exercise his parenting time with the child" and that she wanted to get "as far away from the other parent as she could without leaving the State."

While this case is Unreported and therefore non-precedential, it illustrates the principle that Family Courts are courts of equity and that Judges will utilize their discretion to ensure the best interests of the children are paramount.  If you are divorced or divorcing and are contemplating moving within the State of New Jersey or to a different State, it is essential to meet with an attorney that specializes in family law to review your rights and obligations.   

Corrine Cooke is a member of Stark & Stark’s Divorce Group in the Lawrenceville, New Jersey office. For questions, please contact Ms. Cooke.

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