How does relocation affect children?

Every year, many intact families relocate in the United States, often for job-related reasons. While these moves can have their own involved stresses for kids, relocations after a divorce can have an altogether different impact on kids as many New Jersey families know. Instead of children moving with both of their parents, either they move with only one parent and leave the other behind or one parent moves and leaves the child behind.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers notes that moves that allow kids to remain within their existing community and school are generally not problematic. It is when a move takes children away from these familiar environments and more than one hour away from one parent that issues can arise. Barring any instances of abuse, violence or other such concerns, it is generally accepted that the ongoing involvement of both parents is in the best interests of the child. Certainly maintaining a strong relationship with children becomes more difficult as distances increase.

Some relocations may logistically allow for children to spend weekends with the non-custodial parent. However, this can create negative ramifications on kids’ social lives as it hinders their ability to participate in sports, birthday parties and other events. The challenges can be felt by children of all ages with some experts indicating that the younger the child, the more damage is done to the parent-child relationship.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about how parental relocation can impact children in New Jersey.