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Leland Law Firm is committed
to serving families when legal solutions are needed to help tackle and resolve the challenges that
face us all.

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(732) 409-7777

 

Mary Jane Leland, Esq.
Leland Law Firm, LLC
Ellis Law Center
87 South Street
Freehold, New Jersey 07728
Phone: (732) 409-7777
Fax: (732) 409-7772
mjleland@lelandlawfirm.com

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Must I have another job in place in a new state for a court to grant my motion to move out of the state with my children?

 On February 4, 2013, the Superior Court decided Benjamin v. Benjamin and held that having a guaranteed job in another state is not a mandatory prerequisite for moving your children to another state.  Rather, the likelihood that the custodial parent can provide children with a financially stable household in the new state is a just one relevant factor in determining whether the proposed relocation is reasonable or inimical to the child’s interests. 
 
The Court granted the custodial parent’s request to move the children out of state and held that there is no express, absolute requirement for a relocating custodial parent to have a specific job or promise of guaranteed employment in the new state.  Rather, the criteria set forth in Baures v. Lewis is the appropriate standard for considering a removal action. It is highly impractical for a custodial parent to obtain a concrete job offer from an out-of state employer when the parent does not know if and when the approved relocation will occur. Given the inherent delays in the litigation process, the most practical and relevant inquiry is whether the custodial parent has a reasonable plan for providing for the child in the new state.
 
A parent may choose to relocate to another state because he/she does not presently have a well-paying job or a satisfactory degree of economic stability. Sometimes moves are beneficial when the cost of living in the new location is lower, family is available to assist with day care, housing is more abundantly available, less competition is in a particular job market, or re-education is desired to enter an entirely new career.  While there is no convenient crystal ball to know whether it is wise or unwise to leave the security of employment, the Court recognized that individuals generally have the freedom and right to make tough choices, take risks, and pursue paths to potential prosperity and happiness. When a child is involved, the child’s welfare always must be considered in those decisions. 

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