Child Custody, Visitation & Relocation

Children Relocation From New Jersey To Ohio Was In Good Faith And Not Inimical To The Children

In the family law, child relocation case of Schwager v. Schwager, App. Div. 20-2-5830, the plaintiff Joshua Schwager appealed the Family Part order permitting defendant Chana Ahuva Schwager to relocate from New Jersey to Ohio with the parties’ two minor children. Plaintiff also challenged an interim order that permitted the removal on a temporary basis pending a plenary hearing and an order denying his application to vacate that order. The appellate panel affirmed the orders. The judge thoroughly analyzed the Baures factors and found that defendant made a prima facie case that the move was in good faith and would not be inimical to the children. The judge found that defendant’s acceptance of employment in Cleveland was crucial to the continued maintenance and well-being of the family. That finding was supported by the record and entitled to deference. A new visitation schedule was structured that afforded plaintiff a reasonable alternative to the parenting time contained in the DJOD. Plaintiff provided no evidence showing that the move was not in good faith or would be harmful to the children. Nor did he rebut defendant’s evidence, including the expert opinion that supported the move. As to the interim order, the application was emergent, as defendant was only given seven days to accept the job. Normal motion practice would not permit timely consideration of the application. As the judge noted, there was no telling when or if defendant would be offered another job. The judge correctly concluded that forbidding defendant to relocate on a temporary basis, pending a final hearing, would potentially result in greater economic hardship to the family. The appellate panel found no error in the court’s determination or the procedure used in addressing the application on an emergent basis.

Reference: Case & Analysis, New Jersey Law Journal; 219 N.J.L.J. 629 (February 23, 2015)

Filed Under: Family Law; Child Relocation

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