In recent years, the pendulum has continued swinging in the direction of making it easier for the parent with physical custody of the children to relocate out-of-state with the children. That trend has continued in 2011 with a key decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court (our highest court).
But to me, the interesting twist of that decision (Morgan v. Morgan) was that the Supreme Court sent the relocation and custodial issues back to the trial court to review in light of the four-year passage of time since the trial court’s initial decision to permit relocation. This leaves open the possibility that based on significant changes in the parent’s and the children’s lives in the intervening four years, permission for the relocation may actually be reversed. So for instance, if the parent who was left behind can prove that the move has effectively cause the children to be alienated, will the trial court in hindsight now retroactively refuse to grant permission to move with the children?
If there had not been a complete upheaval in the children’s lives as a result of the relocation, imagine what those children will face if four years later they are told they will be returning to New Jersey.