In enacting New Jersey statute, N.J.S.A. 9:2-2, the Legislature established a mechanism and procedure for a divorced or unmarried parent when seeking to move with one’s children outside the state of New Jersey. The statute provides:
“When the Superior Court has jurisdiction over the custody and maintenance of the minor children of parents divorced, separated or living separate, and such children are natives of this State, or have resided five years within its limits, they shall not be removed out of its jurisdiction against their own consent, if of suitable age to signify the same, nor while under that age without the consent of both parents, unless the court, upon cause shown, shall otherwise order. The court, upon application of any person in behalf of such minors, may require such security and issue such writs and processes as shall be deemed proper to effect the purposes of this section.”
The Courts in New Jersey have on several occasions interpreted this statute to address the standard for the family courts to apply when one parent wants to move out of New Jersey with the parties’ children, and the other parent objects to the children making such a move. We addressed this standard in a previous blog with regard to parents having a shared 50/50 custodial arrangement based on the decision of the Appellate Division in Bisbing v. Bisbing, 445 N.J. Super. 207 (App.Div. 207), affirmed in part, modified, 230 N.J. 309 (2017). In another blog, we addressed the standard for relocation based on the factors outlined in Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001). In those cases, before the children were removed from New Jersey, an application was made by the parent seeking to move. Does that have to be the procedure? Can the parent make that application after the move? Is it the obligation of the objecting parent to make an application objecting to the children’s removal from New Jersey?