New Jersey Supreme Court Reverses Itself and Ushers Child Relocation Law into the 21st Century

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Einhorn Harris Partner Matheu D. Nunn successfully argued in front of the New Jersey Supreme Court to change how courts decide disputes over relocation of children from New Jersey following a divorce.

The New Jersey Supreme Court issued a landmark child-relocation decision today that reversed nearly two decades of its jurisprudence. The decision, Bisbing v. Bisbing, Docket No. A-2-16 (2017), requires divorced parents who seek to relocate from New Jersey with children to establish that the move is in the “children’s best interests.” According to court documents, the new standard established in Bisbing guarantees that the focus remains, at all times, on the child’s best interests. Under the old standard, which the Court established in the 2001 decision of Baures v. Lewis, although children subject to the move were considered, the focus was on whether the move would cause harm to the children.

Matheu D. Nunn, Esq., a Partner at Einhorn Harris, prevailed for Mr. Bisbing at both the New Jersey Appellate Division and Supreme Court. Nunn stated, “The parties in this case agreed that neither party would relocate, which arguably should have resolved the dispute. But the underlying issue resolved by this case – one at the center of all relocation cases – is why a ‘best interests’ standard would be used for all custody determinations other than one that separates parents from their children by hundreds or thousands of miles.” Nunn added, “Fortunately, after many attempts by the matrimonial bar since Baures v. Lewis, I was able to convince the court that the time had come to revisit Baures and apply a ‘best interests’ standard to relocation disputes.”

Nunn concluded, “Although this decision is a slight rebuke of the notion that technology always amounts to progress, as well as on the social science relied upon in Baures, the greater impact is on the rights of parents following a divorce, to remain an integral part of their children’s lives.”

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ABOUT EINHORN HARRIS
Established in 1961, Einhorn Harris, based in Denville, New Jersey, is a comprehensive, full-service law firm devoted to serving a broad range of legal needs. In its more than 50 years in business, Einhorn Harris and its attorneys have earned a reputation for dedication to the community. The firm focuses in many areas of practice including family law, trusts & estates law, tax law, accidents/personal injury, criminal law, real estate law, business law, employment and commercial litigation. http://www.einhornharris.com.

ABOUT MATHEU D. NUNN
Matheu Nunn co-chairs the firm’s Appellate Practice Group and handles matrimonial litigation. He’s a graduate of Rutgers School of Law (Camden), where he was an editor of the Rutgers University Law Review and graduated with honors. Nunn clerked for the Hon. B. Theodore Bozonelis, A.J.S.C. (ret.) (2007-2008), and the Hon. Jack M. Sabatino, P.J.A.D. (2008-2009). After his clerkship, he joined the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in the Major Crimes and Appellate section. Within months of joining Einhorn Harris, Nunn was appointed to serve as Prosecutor of Morris Township, New Jersey, in 2012, a position he left when he became an elected official in Morris Township in 2016.

Since becoming a member of the bar in 2007, Nunn has handled more than 35 Appellate Division/Supreme Court cases, including six published cases. He has tried both jury and non-jury trials, and has moderated several Appellate/Supreme Court Practice seminars.

Nunn was recently selected by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of three finalists for the prestigious “Attorney of the Year” award. The New Jersey Law Journal also recognized Nunn as a “New Leader of the Bar” in 2015. Nunn has also received an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell (the highest possible rating), and has been selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star across three different practice areas: Family Law, Appellate Practice and Criminal Law. Nunn also volunteers as a trustee for the Morris County Bar Association, a member of the New Jersey State Bar Appellate Practice Committee, and as an Early Settlement Panelist in Morris County.

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