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Thursday, January 15, 2015

SANDRA COSTA VS. PAULO A. COSTA A-2078-13T4

SANDRA COSTA VS. PAULO A. COSTA
          A-2078-13T4
A parent's relocation to another country, while normally a change of circumstances warranting modification of that parent's physical custody, does not necessarily constitute a change of circumstances warranting modification of joint legal custody. Modern communications can enable the distant parent to remain a joint decision-maker in the major decisions regarding the children's welfare.
A change in joint legal custody is not justified by difficulties in renewing the children's passports, where the foreign parent consents to a court order authorizing the domestic parent to obtain a passport for the children regardless of the custodial arrangements, and authorizing the minor to travel. See 22 C.F.R. § 51.28(a)(3)(ii)(E) (2014).
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Accordingly, the trial court did not err in denying the domestic parent's motion to obtain sole legal custody for such purposes.