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What is considered 'significant change of circumstances'

Belmar, NJ |

My exwife moved out of state (NJ to VA) with my 3 children back in 2009. My relationship with the children 11, 13, & 16 is deteriorating. It's hard to fix 8 hours (500 miles away). They won't even return my calls or texts now. I asked my ex what was going on and she "I suggest you figure out a way to reach out to them. I will not get in the middle of your relationship with them'. Our PSA states that she is assist in a nurturing relationship. Is this enough for change in circumstances-to try to have her relocate back to NJ with them?

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Attorney answers 3


Your question raises some very difficult issues, and I am sorry that you are experiencing this. However, pertinent facts were missing from your synopsis which would help a lawyer, especially one experienced in family law, be better able to guide you. Based on the reference to your PSA, you certainly have a hook. However, pursuant to the UCCJEA, your children's "home state" can now be considered Virginia. It is very relevant what your PSA or the Order allowing the move stated about jurisdiction, etc. because WHERE an application would be filed, regardless of what you are file, is an overarching question at this stage. Additionally, you reference the concept of HER relocating back to NJ; it is not impossible but it is highly unlikely a Judge would order that she relocate. You may, based on a number of factors, be able to request the children's move back to NJ, but this is a highly fact-sensitive issue and turns on a lot of specific information which cannot be ascertained from your explanation above. I strongly urge you to consult with an experienced family lawyer who can review your documents, discuss the pertinent facts, and give you tailored advice on how to proceed. Good luck.

The information presented in this answer is for informational purposes only. The answer or the information contained within should, in no way, be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


Does your PSA state what state will have jurisdiction in case of conflict? You need to have an attorney of that state review your PSA. If it is silent on the state, then Virginia would be the children's home state.

Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.


You will likely not have enough to force a change in custody from VA to NJ

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