Much may happen to you in the months and years following your divorce, among which may be being presented with the opportunity to move away from Hackensack. However, relocating becomes infinitely more complicated when you and your ex-spouse have children together. Even if you have been awarded sole or primary custody of your kids, the court will typically work to ensure that your ex-spouse remains a large part of their lives (as it is widely viewed as being in the best interest of children that both parents are involved in their upbringing). So deep is this commitment that it may even impact your decision to move.
To be clear, the court typically will not bar you from moving. It can, however, modify your custody arrangement significantly to accommodate the move. Such modifications can be as drastic as decreasing your custody time with the kids. The standard the court uses when deciding whether it should allow children in divorced families to be moved far from their current location has been set by higher state court rulings. These require that several factors be considered, including:
- The needs of your children
- The number of kids you have (as well as their age)
- The preference of your kids (if they are old enough to make an informed decision)
- The quality of education they currently receive (and that which they would receive in their new area)
- Yours and your ex-spouse’s adherence to previous custody rulings
- Yours and your ex-spouse’s ability to effectively communicate over custody issues
Speaking specifically of communication, if you and your ex-spouse are able to work together to come up with a revised custody agreement on your own, the court will almost always honor that. Such is preferable to having your custody situation determined by someone else.