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Wife Decides not to Relocate

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  • Wife Decides not to Relocate

    I recently accepted a job in Florida and will be relocating from New Jersey. My wife and I agreed and have been making all the preparations to include listing our house to be rented and scheduling moving services. The relocation is now about two weeks away and she now says she wants to separate and will not move to Florida. We have a baby that she says she will not separate from under any circumstances. Can she just say she will not come with me and keep the baby after it is very obvious we were going to relocate?

  • #2
    Re: Wife Decides not to Relocate

    Yes she can. Actually a strategic move since NJ will have jurisdiction.
    Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

    I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

    Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Wife Decides not to Relocate

      Originally posted by jrox1979 View Post
      I recently accepted a job in Florida and will be relocating from New Jersey. My wife and I agreed and have been making all the preparations to include listing our house to be rented and scheduling moving services. The relocation is now about two weeks away and she now says she wants to separate and will not move to Florida. We have a baby that she says she will not separate from under any circumstances. Can she just say she will not come with me and keep the baby after it is very obvious we were going to relocate?
      Sure she can. She has a right to remain in NJ where she is. Just because you are married doesn't allow you to force her to move with you.

      Keeping the baby with her might not be so clear-cut. As a married couple with a child born during the marriage, you BOTH legally have the right to residential custody of the child. You would have just as much right to take the baby with you as she does to keep the there with her in NJ.

      The issue here will be what is in the child's best interests. Courts routinely award residential custody of young children (under 7) to the mother as they are often better equipped to deal with them. If the mother hasn't been the primary caretaker, then that can certainly change things. If there is going to be a battle over where the child will live, you need to get things started NOW and get temporary orders in place immediately. NJ will have jurisdiction for the time being, due to where you currently reside.
      "If it ain't in writing, it never happened."
      "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
      "You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, but a CHOICE."

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      • #4
        Re: Wife Decides not to Relocate

        Thanks for the help...it certainly doesn't look good. He is 4 months old and breastfeeding...she does not work and takes care of him full time. Not to mention I am in Atlanta until Friday, Orlando until 5/24, and back to NJ Memorial Day weekend to move and be back to Florida to start work by the first. I think I'm screwed for now.

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        • #5
          Re: Wife Decides not to Relocate

          Yes, of course she has a right to refuse. However, she can’t keep your baby away from you without a court order saying so. Either parent can take the child where they want to while married. But in case she is planning to divorce you then the first thing you should do is to fix an appointment with an attorney immediately to draft a temporary custody order and a parenting plan. The failure to act immediately may cause serious problems for you in future.

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          • #6
            Re: Wife Decides not to Relocate

            Originally posted by jrox1979 View Post
            I recently accepted a job in Florida and will be relocating from New Jersey. My wife and I agreed and have been making all the preparations to include listing our house to be rented and scheduling moving services. The relocation is now about two weeks away and she now says she wants to separate and will not move to Florida. We have a baby that she says she will not separate from under any circumstances. Can she just say she will not come with me and keep the baby after it is very obvious we were going to relocate?
            Yes. She can remain where she is, not relocate with you, and since the child is an infant it is pretty much a given the baby will remain with her. The Tender Years Doctrine is applied to children under 7 and especially where the mother has been the primary care giver. if you want to challenge custody, plan on remaining in New Jersey for another six months to a year and spending $20,000 or more for a custody battle.


            You are looking at a formal legal separation, at the least, and possibly divorce. It behooves you to get yourself to a family law attorney to work out the legal ramifications of the separation/divorce.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Wife Decides not to Relocate

              Though the tender years doctrine was thrown out years ago, the fact that your wife is breast feeding is a compelling reason to grant her residential parent status. As is her maintaining a residence in NJ.
              Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

              I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

              Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Wife Decides not to Relocate

                Originally posted by Disagreeable View Post
                Though the tender years doctrine was thrown out years ago, the fact that your wife is breast feeding is a compelling reason to grant her residential parent status. As is her maintaining a residence in NJ.
                I do not know where you get this information that the "Tender Years Doctrine" was thrown out years ago. Perhaps it will be illuminating to post the state and cases. If you can.

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