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Relocation Revisited: Is It Time For A Legislative Response?

By Charles F. Vuotto, Jr. and Mark Biel


Sometimes attorneys must issue a clarion call for substantive change when the underlying predicates of a judicial decision no longer exist, or perhaps never really existed in the first place. Such is where we find ourselves as we critique the law of relocation presently extant in the state of New Jersey.

The co-authors have been privileged to craft a number of articles on the topic of relocation, which have previously appeared in the New Jersey Family Lawyer.[1] These articles and others, which have appeared in this publication, discuss in detail Baures v. Lewis,[2]which since 2001 has established the legal standard for relocation cases litigated in this state. Baures provides that a parent seeking removal of a child outside the state of New Jersey over the objection of the other parent must first demonstrate a prima faciecase for removal before the court will consider the application. Initially, the moving party has the burden to produce evidence that: 1) there is a good faith reason for the move; and 2) the move will not be inimical to the children’sinterests.[3] To make such prima facieshowing, the moving party must provide facts that, if not rebutted, would sustain a judgment in the proponent’s favor.[4] As a practical matter, in most cases the custodial parent will be able to make such prima facieshowing. As the New Jersey Supreme Court explained, such prima facie demonstration by the custodial parent “is not a particularly onerous one.”[5]


The Supreme Court indicated the following:



The initial burden will be met for example, by a custodial parent who shows he is seeking to move closer to a large extended family that can help him raise his child; that the child will have educational, health and leisure opportunities equal to that which is available here and that he has thought out a visitation schedule that will allow the child to maintain his or her relationship with the non-custodial parent.[6]


Once the prima faciedemonstration is made, the noncustodial parent has the burden of moving forward with evidence demonstrating that the removal is “either not in good faith or inimical to the child’s interests.”[7] After the noncustodial parent has gone forward, the moving party may rest or produce additional evidence regarding the noncustodial parent’s motives, the visitation scheme or any other matter bearing on the application.

While Baures also requires a trial court to examine a number of factors relevant to the relocating party’s burden of proving good faith, and that the move will not be inimical to the child’s interest, these factors do little to change the clear presumption in favor of relocation. Short of very unusual facts such as a special needs child or a child whose talent would uniquely be benefitted by remaining, proofs respecting the various factors will generally be insufficient to overcome the underlying social science predicates detailed in Baures.

Assuredly, the Baures paradigm is not applicable when there has not been an initial determination of custody either by litigation or settlement. Most notably, this will occur when the parties are about to separate or have been separated for a short period of time. In such instances a determination must be made pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:2-4 under a best interest analysis. The second type of case where the Baures paradigm is inapplicable is the case in which the parties share essentially equal physical custody, either de factoor de jure. In those circumstances, the removal application constitutes a motion for change of custody and will be governed initially by a changed circumstances inquiry and ultimately by a best interest analysis.[8]

But the majority of relocation cases that are litigated do not fall within those exceptions. They fall under the post-judgment structure where a more traditional PPR/PAR arrangement exists. In such cases, the Supreme Court’s decision to establish a far less onerous demonstration than ’best interest’ and requiring only that the move will “not be inimical to the children’s best interest” establishes an unequivocal presumption in favor of a custodial parent’s right to relocate. While the case itself does not expressly provide for such a legal presumption, the application of the Baures procedures and factors essentially creates such a presumption.

The difficulty in defending a relocation case is predicated upon the conclusion of the Supreme Court that social science research links a positive outcome for children of divorce with the welfare of the primary custodian and the stability and happiness within that newly formed post-divorce household.[9] As the Court has indicated:



…Social science research has uniformly confirmed the simple principle that what is good for the custodial parent is good for the child.[10]


Accordingly, this social science presumption will always provide a compelling argument that if the custodial parent is enjoined from moving, that parent will be unhappy, unrewarded, unfulfilled and distraught, and that this, in and of itself, will be inimical to the child’s best interest.


Inconsistent Social Science

An analysis of the social science references contained in Baures compels the conclusion that not only did the Supreme Court fail to rely upon any empirical data, but in great measure relied upon conclusions offered by divorce research pioneer Judith S. Wallerstein, whose conclusions have come under serious scrutiny.

Practitioners who have followed judicial relocation decisions know that the important decision in In re Marriage of Burgess[11] closely tracked the opinions expressed in the amica curiae brief filed by Dr. Wallerstein.[12] In that brief, she cited 10 social science articles in her table of authorities, which, as has been pointed out by other researchers, contained seven citations from her own research group.[13]   WhileWallerstein argued for a presumption in favor of relocation, her brief essentially ignored her earlier research, where she recognized a child’s need for continuity of emotional bonds included the need for continuity of relations with both parents, noting:


Our findings regarding the centrality of both parents to the psychological health of children and adolescents alike leads us to hold that, where possible, divorcing parents should be encouraged and helped to shape post-divorce arrangements which permit and foster continuity of the children’s relations with both parents.[14]


Well respected researcher Dr. Richard Warshak has questioned:


Why Wallerstein now interprets the same research results as supporting the view that courts should foster continuity in the child’s relationship with the mother but not with the father is unclear, but the scientific literature does not justify it.[15]


Wallerstein’s early research contradicts her own amicus brief in Burgess, since in a non-litigation-based treatise she noted:



At five years [the] positive contribution of the father’s role emerged with clarity. Specifically, good father-child relationships appeared linked to high self-esteem and in the absence of depression in children of both sexes and at all ages. We were interested to find this significant link in both sexes up to and including those in the thirteen-to-twenty-four age group. …It is noteworthy that the divorce appeared not to diminish the importance of the psychological link between father and child. This connection was especially obvious at the five-year mark in those children who were between nine and twelve, or entering adolescence. Children in this age group took intense pleasure in the visiting and when they were not visited they grieved. It seems possible, in fact, that in this nine-to-twelve-year old group the visiting father might sustain a youngster even in the care of a disorganized mother.[16]


It is not suggested that the conclusions of a social scientist such as Wallerstein cannot be modified over time, based upon new information. The problem with Wallerstein’s position expressed in her brief is that it fails to indicate, let alone explain, the disparate conclusions she has reached.


Highlighting this disparity is the statement in her amica curiae brief:


There is no evidence in my own work of many years, including the 10-and 15-year longitudinal study, that frequency of visiting or the amount of time spent with the non-custodial parent over the child’s entire growing-up years was significantly related to good outcome in the child or adolescent.[17]


However, in her first publication, Wallerstein herself provides such evidence:



In the youngest children the good father-child relationship was closely related to a regular and frequent visiting schedule and to a visiting pattern that included continuity and pleasure in the visiting. For most children, this meant overnight and weekend stays.[18]


Boys and girls of various ages who had been doing poorly at the initial assessment were able to improve significantly with increased visiting by the father. Similarly, visits by the father which increased after the first year diminished loneliness among the older youngsters and adolescents. Those children who had been fortunate enough to enjoy a good father-child relationship on a continuing basis over the years were more likely to be in good psychological health.[19]


A rethinking of visiting issues must include the concept that both parents remain centrally responsible for and involved in the care and psychological development of their children.[20]


These inconsistencies raise serious questions, since the Supreme Court in Baures has relied on the Judith S. Wallerstein and Tony Tanke 1996 publication,To Move or Not to Move: Psychological and Legal Considerations in the Relocation of Children Following Divorce.[21] This publication refers substantially to the amica curiae brief, without discussing Wallerstein’s prior publications, which reach different conclusions. A review of that 1996 article also contains references to other social science studies, which were briefly cited by the court in Baures.

The Supreme Court also cites the research study of Mark F. Furstenberg and Andrew J. Cherlin as indicating that there is no connection between frequency of noncustodial visits and good outcomes for a child.[22] Respectfully, this statement is both misleading and not based upon any original research by Furstenberg and Cherlin. The conclusion Furstenberg and Cherlin– reach that the amount of contact children have with their father seems to make little difference to their well-being– is a statement made without foundation on any statistical data, or even any social science research of their own,Rather, it relies on their 1991 publication, which, in turn, was based upon two surveys of the National Survey of Children taken in 1976 and 1981, respectively.

Moreover, as prominent clinical and research psychologist Dr. Richard A. Warshak has pointed out, the Burgess brief fails to add Furstenberg’s caveat: “The absence of any general association between contact with the non-custodial parent and child outcomes may be due to the fact that relatively few outside parents see their children frequently enough to exert much influence.”[23]

Sadly, Wallerstein’s brief is reduced to the use of anecdotal data of two case studies supporting a woman’s request for relocation, and, in what Dr. Warshak refers to as an “unfortunate oversight” in the Burgess brief, it has failed to disclose the limitations of social science research.[24] As he states:





Psychologist’s opinions routed solely in clinical experience can lead to faulty generalizations based on the most troubled population of children whose problems are severe enough to warrant mental health intervention. Empirical research can help psychologists avoid this error.[25]



More Recent Studies

Due in part to more recent studies that have dispelled predicates upon which cases such as Baures were based, some states, by case law or statute, have now established a far more balanced approach to the relocation standard.Unfortunately, New Jersey is not one of those states. In truth, there has been very little research directly focusing upon relocation and children’s well being. In 2003 the study conducted by Arizona State University Professors Stanford L. Braver and Ira M. Ellman examined retrospectively how college students who live more than 100 miles from the other parent, irrespective of the reasons for the relocation, were faring as compared with college students whose parents were divorced but did not live a substantial distance from one another.[26]

In that study Professor Braver and his colleagues reiterated Dr. Warshak’s finding that heretofore not an empirical single study could be found containing direct data on the effects of parental moves on the well being of children of divorce. Distilled to its essence, the Braver study found that there was harm associated with longer-distance living arrangements between parents. While the study recognized the data could not establish with certainty that moves caused children harm, they concluded there is absolutely no empirical basis on which to justify a legal presumption that a move by a custodial parent to benefit the parent’s life would necessarily confer equivalent benefits on the child.

More recently, William G. Austin, Ph.D. a highly respected clinical and forensic psychologist in Colorado has identified and isolated many factors that must be considered by the courts in either permitting or disallowing relocation. Certain factors may be risk factors, in that they increase the risk of a child’s harm in moving, or protective factors, in that they would ameliorate the risk of harm in moving or even serve as factors suggesting the move would be good for the child.[27] Among those factors are:

  1. The history of involvement by the noncustodial parent, including post-separation involvement. Has the parent spent regular quality time with the child? Is the parent involved with extracurricular activities and/or social activities? Put another way, how integrally involved is that parent in the child’s life?
  2. What effect would geographical differences have on parenting time and involvement that may affect the child’s development? As many researchers have pointed out, there is a great distinction between visitations at least every other weekend, which will be unrealistic if the move is far away, and a parenting plan where visitation can be more frequent, including some weekends.The lack of visitation at least every other weekend, when that has been the norm, has been more likely to fundamentally impact the emotional bond between parent and child. The younger the child, the more likely this will become significant.

Social scientists like Joan Kelly and Michael Lamb have long discussed the importance of regular interaction with young children and their “attachment figures” in order to foster, maintain and strengthen their relationships.[28] Such conclusions were also reached by Dr. Linda Nielsen in an article titled “Shared Residential Custody: Review of the Research (Part II of II).[29]Dr. Nielsen’s findings emphasize the importance of the role of the non-residential parent and shared parenting arrangements. The article makes it clear that the empirical data supports the importance of the non-residential parent and the benefits associated with shared parenting. This article draws the following four major conclusions:


  1. Most of the children in shared parenting arrangements fair as well or better than those in a maternal residence, especially in terms of the quality and endurance of the relationship with their fathers.
  2. Parents do not have to be exceptionally cooperative, without conflict, wealthy, and well educated, or mutually enthusiastic about sharing the residential parenting, in order for the children to benefit from a shared parenting arrangement.
  3. Young adults who have lived in these families say this arrangement was in their best interest.
  4. The U.S., like most other industrialized countries is undergoing a shift in custody laws, public opinion, and parents’ decisions –a shift toward more shared residential parenting.

Therefore, if shared parenting is best for children, shouldn’t there, at the very least, be no presumption in favor of a custodial parent’s relocation away from the noncustodial parent?

  1. What is the cognitive and emotional status of the child, as that status tends to predict coping responses and resiliency? A child with special needs may benefit from two parents if for no other reason but to provide respite for the custodial parent. A child suffering from ADHD may well respond poorly to the changes and loss of structure associated with relocation.
  2. What is the psychological health of both parents? For example, a high level of parental stress of a primary parent would tend to be a predicator of poor child coping with a transitional life such as relocation. It may also affect the ability (or inability) of the custodial parent to truly promote a relationship with the other parent, which becomes more difficult after relocation (generally speaking).
  3. Is there a history of child or spouse maltreatment? When this exists, usually only parallel parenting patterns as opposed to joint decision making is possible or advised. In such instances, relocation may, in fact, be consistent with the need for fewer transition times for exchange of the child, less communication, and structured parenting time.
  4. What is the age of the child? If relocation occurs before the child has the opportunity to form an emotional bond, it is argued by many experts that the harm to the child in terms of lost opportunity for nurturance and support from the other parent is substantial.
  5. What is the timing of proposed relocation? How long have the parties been separated, if at all? What has been the reaction of the child upon both of the parents living separate and apart?
  6. What are the available financial resources? If the removal is a great distance, in a lower-middle class family the cost of transportation may make parenting time for the parent left behind all but impossible. Additional consideration needs to be given to the noncustodial parent’s work schedule, and even that parent’s ability to take off substantial time from work to accommodate parenting time, both in terms of permissibility and economic impact. How helpful is it, for example, if the relocating parent cedes many weeks of summer parenting time to the parent remaining in New Jersey, when that parent is a factory worker who is unable to get blocks of time off and would not be able to afford to take time off even if it was available.
  7. What is the child’s present school experience? Could the child arguably benefit from the wholesale change in his or her school experience? Conversely, is the child an excellent student; well entrenched in AP courses; successful in varsity sports or other extracurricular activities?

These factors are not all-inclusive, but are illustrative of the type of considerations a court needs to keep in mind. To some degree it can be argued that these factors are tantamount to a ’best interest analysis’ for children, but at the end of the day isn’t that really what it’s all about?


California Changes Its Calculus

While New Jersey law has remained static under Baures, which in great measure tracked the California decision In the Marriage of Burgess, the law has changed substantially in the last several years in California. It began with In Re Marriage of LaMusga.[30] In that case, the California Supreme Court created a two-part test for relocation: The non-custodial parent must first show detriment associated with the move of the child. Then, if that showing is accomplished, the court must determine whether a change of custody is in the best interest of the child. The California Supreme Court in LaMusga also directed a trial court to consider a variety of factors in its analysis of whether or not to grant or deny relocation. Those factors include:

  1. The children’s interest in stability and continuity in the custodial arrangement;
  2. The distance of the move;
  3. The age of the children;
  4. The children’s relationship with both parties;
  5. The relationship between the parents, including but not limited to, their ability to cooperate effectively and their willingness to put the interest of the children above their individual interest;
  6. The wishes of the children if they are mature enough for such inquiry to be appropriate;
  7. The reasons for the proposed move; and
  8. The extent to which the parents are currently sharing custody.[31]

Since LaMusga,California Courts of Appeal have continued to hear numerous cases and have refined relocation law even further. The courts have explicitly stated that when a parent proposes to move with the children to another location, the trial court must make a determination of what parenting plan is in the children’s best interest, with the explicit assumption that the move is going to take place (but not necessarily with the child moving). Put another way, the trial court must determine whether or not the child should move with the moving parent or remain with the non-moving parent, and then determine what parenting plan is in the child’s best interest as it relates to access between the child and each parent.


Continued Research

While published research in the United States has focused on a retrospective analysis, ongoing research in other countries has more recently focused on actually understanding the families as they are in the midst of relocation.[32] One of the most significant findings was that, whether courts granted or denied the move, one parent was emotionally devastated. However, at the same time, regardless of such devastation, when both parents were able to remain child-focused and supported the relationship between the child and the other parent, relocation was either not harmful or, in some instances, was a positive experience for the child.[33]

This research has also shown that when relocation was granted certain burdens fell upon the children, the largest being the burden of travel, whether by car, rail or plane. The other primary burden was associated with lesser contact with the other parent, as many distant parents had difficulty managing contact, and that most children found electronic assess such as Skype, email and phone to be less than satisfactory.

If there was one conclusion that can be culled from the most recent research available, it is that the polarized views that children are always harmed by the moves or, conversely, that moving with the primary parent is almost always good for the children as expressed in Baures, are not based on conclusive research and are not helpful in making relocation decisions in a given case.[34] The recent study conducted by London University Law Professor Marilyn Freeman and University of Otaga, New Zealand Professor Nicola Taylor identified that many children are at risk when relocation occurs, but whether or not a particular relocation is harmful for an individual child depends on both risk and protective factors that may be present in that case. Like Professor Austin, they identify that relocation needs to be thought of within a risk context, and within each case a multiplicity of factors either ameliorate or elevate risk and resiliency, depending on the child. That risk includes the lack of contact with the non-custodial parent as highlighted in the article by Wake Forest University Adolescent and Educational psychologistDr. Linda Nielsen which outlines numerous studies concluding that the role of the non-residential parent is critical and that shared parenting arrangements are generally best for children.[35]

What is to be distilled from all of the research available is that there is no justifiable basis for diluting the burden necessary to permit interstate relocation to occur. Once the underlying social science predicates upon which Baures is based are invalidated, we are left with a troubling set of legal standards in New Jersey. In fact, the burden placed upon the potential relocating parent who may want to move with the children across the country is actually less than the burden placed upon the parent seeking custody when the parties live in the same municipality and school district.[36]

In great measure responding to this new body of research, a number of states have enacted statutes that are truly child centered, in that they focus solely on the best interests of the child. Among those states is Pennsylvania. Its relocation history exemplifies a national trend.


The Pennsylvania Experience

From 1990 through Jan. 25, 2011, child custody relocation was analyzed under Gruber v. Gruber.[37] The custodial parent seeking to relocate with the minor child(ren) was required to meet the three prongs of the Gruber test, summarized as follows:

  1. The proposed move is likely to significantly improve the quality of the life for the relocating parent.
  2. The proposed move is not motivated by the desire to impede a meaningful parent-child relationship with the non-relocating parent.
  3. There exists a substitute custody arrangement that insures a continuing relationship between the child and the no-relocating parent.

In Nov. 2010, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a statute that eviscerated Gruber. This legislation, which is codified at 23 Pa.C.S. §5337, went into effect on Jan. 26, 2011. Pursuant to subsection (h) of the statute, the trial court must consider 10 factors in determining whether to grant a proposed relocation. 23 Pa.C.S. §5337(h) provides, in full, as follows:


In determining whether to grant a proposed relocation, the court shall consider the following factors, giving weighted consideration to those factors which affect the safety of the child:

(1) The nature, quality, extent of involvement and duration of the child’s relationship with the party proposing to relocate and with the non-relocating party, siblings and other significant persons in the child’s life.

(2) The age, development state, needs of the child and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child.

(3) The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating party and the child through suitable custody arrangements, considering the logistics and financial circumstances of the parties.

(4) The child’s preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child.

(5) Whether there is an established pattern of conduct of either party to promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the other party.

(6) Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the party seeking the relocation, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity.

(7) Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the child, including but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity.

(8) The reasons and motivation of each party seeking or opposing the relocation.

(9) The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party’s household and whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party.

(10) Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child.



Prior to the passage of this statute, there was significant legislative discussion regarding whether or not it was appropriate to include a presumption for or against relocation. Ultimately, it was decided that there would not be a presumption for or against relocation, rather subsection (i) of the statute sets forth the following burdens of proof:


(1) The party proposing the relocation has the burden of establishing that the relocation will serve the best interestof the child as shown under the factors set forth in subsection (h).

(2) Each party has the burden of establishing the integrity of that party’s motives in either seeking the relocation or seeking to prevent the relocation.

In a recent case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court found that pursuant to the statute there are no presumptions in relocation matters.[38]



Let’s Return To Best Interests

Ours is an increasing mobile society. Accordingly, relocation litigation is not likely to diminish, and, in fact, is more likely to increase. As Braver points out, people appear especially likely to move after their marriage fails.[39] Recent studies show that within four years of separation and divorce about one-fourth of mothers with custody move to a new location.[40] Today, about 40 percent of U.S. households change addresses every five years. About 33 percent of Americans reside in a state other than the one they were born in. Almost half of U.S. college graduates move out of their birth states by age 30.[41]

The Braver study suggests that from the perspective of the child’s interest, there may be a real value in “discouraging moves” by custodial parents, at least in cases in which the child enjoys a good relationship with the other parent and the move is not prompted by the need to otherwise remove the child from a detrimental environment.[42]The authors believe that this conclusion is supported by the conclusions contained within Dr. Nielsen’s article, and the surveys cited therein. However, the authors do not suggest that the evidence is so overwhelmingly conclusive that a presumption against relocation is appropriate.

To be sure, in the past one of the co-authors has raised the question of whether there should be a legal presumption that parents relinquish their autonomy to relocate upon the birth of a child to the extent necessary to facilitate the best interest of the child, except in extraordinary circumstances where failure to move would cause harm to the child.[43] While a few states, such as Colorado and Minnesota, continue to maintain a presumption against relocation, the authors believe such an approach, which is based upon the converse predicate from that of Baures, creates unnecessary legal and moral debate, which would cloud the issue as much as Baures does by its now unsubstantiated conclusions.

The authors do suggest, however, that the best empirical data availablecompels the conclusion that a purely best interest analysis should be utilized in judicially determining removal cases, giving primary importance to the needs of the child and only ancillary importance to the prospective plans of the custodial parent. New Jersey, already enjoys the benefit of an open-minded activist court, willing to craft decisions and modify decisions based upon, inter-alia, substantiated social and psychological information. The New Jersey Supreme Court has particularly not hesitated to decide controversial cases involving parent-child rights and relationships[44] rather than leaving such determination to the Legislature.

Assuredly, the Legislature could readily modify N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 and provide that the ’cause’ provision of that statute is to be determined solely by the best interest of the child. Alternatively, the Legislature could enact a statute defining the best interest considerations in detail, akin to what has been done in Pennsylvania, Arizona and other jurisdictions.[45]

The authors believe ideally the delegation of such power by the court to the Legislature, which must deal with competing political interests, would not best serve divorced and otherwise separate families in this state. Therefore, the authors propose the New Jersey Supreme Court, when the appropriate case is placed before it, should revisit Baures and establish a best interest paradigm consistent with the most current and reliable empirical data. However, it is important to be mindful of the fact that Baures has now been the law of this state for more than 12 years, without judicial modification. Those attorneys who believe children are not best served by the existing standard should not necessarily sit back and wait for the Supreme Court to reconsider the Baures catechism when the ’right case’ comes along. That could be years, if ever. Given the passage of time, it would appear the best hope for change to a best interest standard now may well lie with the Legislature.


Charles F. Vuotto, Jr., a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Past Chair of the Family Law Section is the Managing Partner of Tonneman, Vuotto, Enis & White, LLC of Matawan, New Jersey and the Editor-in-Chief of the New Jersey Family Lawyer.


Mark Biel, a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Past Chair of the Family Law Section is the Senior Partner of Biel, Zlotnick & Feinberg, P.A., Northfield, New Jersey. He is an Emeritus Editor of the New Jersey Family Lawyer and in 2005 was the Saul Tischler recipient.



[1]M. Biel New Jersey Family Lawyer, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, January/February 1998; Vol. XXI, No. 3, August 2001; and Vol. 29, No. 2, November 2008; C.F. Vuotto, Jr. Vol. 31, No. 3, November 2010.

[2]Baures v. Lewis, 167 N.J. 91 (2001)

[3]Id. at 122.


[4]     Id. at 118


[5]     Id. at 118


[6]     Id. at 118


[7]     Id. at 119


[8]     Id. at 116; For a discussion of what constitutes a true shared custody arrangement cf. Mamolen v. Mamolen, 346 N.J. Super. 493 (App. Div. 2002); O’Connor v. O’Connor, 349 N.J. Super. 381 (App. Div. 2002).

[9]Baures, supraat 106


[10]Id. at 106


[11]   13 Cal. 4th 25, 913 P2d 473 (1996)


[12]   Wallerstein, J.S. (1995), amica curiae brief of Dr. Judith S. Wallerstein, Ph.D. filed In Re the Marriage of Burgess, Supreme Court of the State of California, December 7, 1995.


[13]   Warshak, Richard A, Ph.D. Social Science and Children’s Bests Interests in Relocation Cases: Burgess Revisited. Family Law Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 1, Page 83 (2000)


[14]   Wallerstein, Judith S and Kelly, Joan Berlin, Surviving the Breakup at 311 (1980).


[15]   Warshak, supra, Note 10 at 86.


[16]   Wallerstein and Kelly, Surviving the Breakup, supra Note 11 at 219.


[17]   Burgess amica curiae brief supra, Note 12 at 17.


[18]   Surviving the Breakup, supra, Note 14 at 219.



[20]   Id. at 134


[21]   Wallerstein, Judith and Tanke, Tony J., To Move or Not to Move: Psychological and Legal        Considerations in the Relocation of Children Following Divorce, 30 Family Law Quarterly 305 (1996).


[22]   Furstenberg, Frank F. and Cherlin, Andrew J., Divided Families: What Happens To Children WhenParentsPart, 72 (1991), cited in Baures, supra at 107.


[23]             Warshak, supra at 109. Indeed, Dr. Warshak’s article was, in many respects, the harbinger of recent empirical data. While beyond the scope of this article, lawyers and researchers are encouraged to review other clinical studies detailed in Warshak’s presentation which demonstrates a link between frequency of children’s contact with divorced fathers and children’s overall adjustment, which studies were excluded from Wallerstein’s work. Cf. Warshak supra at 89-95.


[24]     Id. at 110.


[25]     Ibid.


[26] Sanford Braver, et al, Relocation of Children After Divorce and Children’s Best Interests: New Evidence and Legal Conclusions, 17 J. Fam. Psychol. 206 (2003); William Fabricus and Sanford Braver, Relocation, Parent Conflict and Domestic Violence: Independent Risk Factors for Children of Divorce, 3 J. Child Custody 7 (2006).


[27]     William G. Austin, A Forensic Psychology of Risk Assessment for Child Custody Relocation Law, 38    Fam. Ct. Rev. 192 (2000); William J. Austin, Relocation, Research and Forensic Evaluation, Part II: Research in Support of the Relocation Risks Assessment Model, 46 Fam. Ct. Rev. 347 (2008);            William G. Austin, Relocation Research and Forensic Evaluation, Part I: Effects of Residential Mobility on Children of Divorce, 46 Fam. Ct. Rev. 137 (2008). Cf. Philip M. Stahl, Avoiding Bias in Relocation Evaluations, 3 J. Child Custody 109 (2006). Dr. Stahl, a licensed Arizona Psychologist, has recently        published a very worthwhile article in the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Vol. 25, 2013 Emerging Issues in Relocation Cases.


[28] Kelly, J. B and Lamb, M. E. (2003), Developmental Issues in Relocation Cases Involving Young Children: When, Whether and How? Journal of Family Psychology, 17, 193-205.

[29] Shared Residential Custody: Review of the Research (Part II of II) by Dr. Linda Nielsen, which was published in the American Journal of Family Law (Volume 27, No. 2 – Summer 2013)


[30]     Marriage of LaMusga (2004) 32 Cal. 4th 1072, 88 P3d, 81.


[31]     Id. at 94.


[32]Marilyn Freemen and Nicole Taylor, The Reign of Payne 2 J Fam.L. and Prac. 20 (2011); Patrick Parkinson, et al, The Need for Reality Testing in Relocation Cases, 44 Fam. L. Q. 1 (2010).


[33]     Freeman and Taylor, supra, Note 32.


[34]     Stahl, Philip M., Emerging Issues in Relocation Cases, supra at 441.


[35] Linda Nielson, Ph.D., Shared Residential Custody: Review of the Research (Part II of II) published in the American Journal of Family Law (Volume 27, No. 2 – Summer 2013).

[36]     N.J.S.A. 9:2-4; see Kinsella v. Kinsella, 150 N.J. 276, 317 (1997) and Fantony v. Fantony, 21 N.J. 525, 536 (1956)


[37]     Gruber v. Gruber, 583 A.2d 434 (Pa. Super. 1990).


[38]     B.K.M. v. J.A.M., 50 A.3d 168 (Pa. Super. 2012).


[39]     Braver et al, supra Note 26 at 206.


[40]     Moretti, Enrico, Ph.D. Professor of Labor Economics, University of California at Berkley, The Press, April 19, 2013


[41]     Ibid.


[42]     Braver et al, supra at 216.


[43]     Vuotto, Charles F., Jr,C.F. Endnote 1, supra.


[44]Cf. Matter of Baby M, 109 N.J. 396 (1988) respecting surrogate parent contracts; D.C. v M.J. B.,163N.J. 200 (2000) respecting same sex custodial issues.


[45]     23 Pa.C.S. 537; Ariz. Rev. Stat. Section 25-403 (2012) Best Interests and Ariz. Rev. Stat. Section 25-408 (2012) Relocation. A detailed assemblage of various statutory and case law decisions across the country is found in Duggan, W. Dennis, Rock-Paper-Scissors: Playing the Odds With The Law of Child Relocation, 45 Fam. Ct. Rev. 193 (2007).


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