Skip to main content

Under NJ law, does an unmarried parent have to get permission from the father to move out of state

Millburn, NJ |

I am a single mom of an 18-month-old son. I have never been married. His father's name is on the birth certificate, my my son lives solely with me. His father helps financially and sees him often. I am considering moving out of the state down the road, should a certain item pan out. Do I need to get my son's father's written consent before doing so? I don't want to do anything illegal. I just want to know what the law is if the custodial parent has never wed the child's father. I live in New Jersey.

Single Mother of 11 month old twins...children reside with me..Father's name is on the birth child support is being court order is in effect for support, visitation, etc. Can I move to Hawaii with my twins without his permission?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


The child's marital status doesn't effect it. The rights of children born in wedlock and born out of wedlock are equal.

So, if the child has lived in NJ for 5 years (or is under age 5), then you would need his written consent or a judge's order. If he won't sign, the court will go through the Baures factors (Google it) - you need (1) a good faith reason for the move and (2) to prove the move wouldn't otherwise be harmful to the child.

If the two of you can't reach an agreement, the court will send you to mediation to determine the issue before a hearing is scheduled. Good luck with it.


That should have read "the parents marital status", not "the child's marital status."


Generally, you will need the cosent of the other parent or a court order permitting you to move out of NJ with the child. I am assuming the father also live in NJ. The court will be interested in where you are moving, why you want to move and how you plan on maintianing the father's relationship/contact with the child. It makes no difference whether you were married or not.


New Jersey requires either mutual consent or a court order before a custodial parent is permitted to move out of state given the facts you've set forth above. If mutual consent isn't there, then you have to file a motion with the court. That motion requires you to meet a preliminary test (usually a pretty low bar). After that preliminary test is met, a plenary hearing is scheduled where evidence is submitted on 12-factors, including the reason for the move and evidence that the move won't negatively impact the non-custodial parent's relationship with the child.

One of the things that comes into play is the non-custodial parent's use of awarded parenting time. The current state of the law says that a non-custodial parent who doesn't take advantage of the awarded parenting time has no standing to challenge the fact that moving away will diminish the relationship with the child.

Hope this is helpful.

Child custody topics

Recommended articles about Child custody

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer