A new year presents an opportunity for New Jersey parents to reevaluate their careers and living situations. When new opportunities arise, parents may want to jump at the chance. A recent case changed how the court allows child relocation to more closely align with the statutes used to determine custody.

August 8, 2017, Bisbing vs Bisbing III went to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The case made it to the state supreme court after a trial court authorized the mother, Jaime Taormina Bisbing, to move the couple’s children permanently out of state. The father opposed the move and appealed the decision.

Their divorce decree stated that neither parent without written consent would relocate the children out of state. The mother wanted to marry a man in Utah and move their seven-year-old twin daughters to that state. The higher court overturned the decision citing that the trial court could not use the 2001 Bauers standard in this case because the custody agreement was made in bad faith.

New Jersey statute 9:2-4 outlines the standards for child custody. The court states that parents should not relocate without both parent’s consent or against the will of a child old enough to make that decision. The court can go against the wishes of both a child and the other parent if there is a reason to do so such as safety.

The court recognizes that both parents have a right to see their children and help rear them. The court allows parents to come up with a custody agreement as long as it serves the best interests of the child.