Jaime Taormina Bisbing v. Glenn R. Bisbing, III (077533) (Sussex County and Statewide) ( 2017 )


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  •                                                       SYLLABUS
    
    (This syllabus is not part of the opinion of the Court. It has been prepared by the Office of the Clerk for the
    convenience of the reader. It has been neither reviewed nor approved by the Supreme Court. Please note that, in the
    interest of brevity, portions of any opinion may not have been summarized.)
    
                           Jaime Taormina Bisbing v. Glenn R. Bisbing, III (A-2-16) (077533)
    
    Argued March 29, 2017 -- Decided August 8, 2017
    
    PATTERSON, J., writing for the Court.
    
              In this appeal, the Court addresses the showing necessary to establish “cause” under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 for the
    entry of an order authorizing a parent to permanently relocate out of state with his or her child, despite the other
    parent’s opposition to the child’s interstate move.
    
              Following their separation, plaintiff Jaime Taormina Bisbing and defendant Glenn R. Bisbing, III, agreed
    on the terms of a Marital Settlement Agreement (Agreement), which they executed on March 8, 2014. With respect
    to their twin daughters, the Agreement provided that plaintiff would have primary residential custody. It also
    included a relocation provision, stating, in part, that “[n]either party shall permanently relocate with the Children
    from the State of New Jersey without the prior written consent of the other.” On April 16, 2014, the trial court
    entered a judgment of divorce, incorporating the terms of the Agreement. On January 8, 2015, plaintiff informed
    defendant that she intended to marry Jake Fackrell, a Utah resident whom she had begun dating prior to the parties’
    divorce. Plaintiff asked defendant to consent to the permanent relocation of the children to Utah. Defendant replied
    that plaintiff was free to move to Utah, but that the children must remain in New Jersey with him.
    
             Plaintiff filed a motion pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:2-2, seeking an order permitting her to permanently relocate
    the children to Utah. Defendant contended that plaintiff had negotiated the Agreement in bad faith, securing his
    consent to her designation as parent of primary residence without informing him that she contemplated relocating.
    Without holding a plenary hearing, the trial court applied the standard established in Baures v. Lewis, 
    167 N.J. 91
    ,
    118-20 (2001): A parent with primary custody seeking to relocate children out of state over the objection of the
    other parent must demonstrate only that there is a good-faith reason for an interstate move and that it “will not be
    inimical to the child’s interests.” The court granted plaintiff’s application for relocation, explaining that she
    presented a good-faith reason and that the move would not be inimical to the children’s interests. Plaintiff moved
    with the children to Utah and enrolled them in an elementary school.
    
              The Appellate Division reversed and remanded for a plenary hearing. 
    445 N.J. Super. 207
     (App. Div.
    2016). The panel found that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether plaintiff negotiated the custody
    provisions of the Agreement in good faith. It ruled that if the trial court concluded that she had acted in bad faith, it
    should resolve the relocation motion using the best interests standard instead of the more lenient “not . . . inimical to
    the child’s interests” standard of Baures. The panel held that if defendant failed to prove plaintiff’s bad faith, the
    trial court would then determine whether plaintiff proved a substantial and unanticipated change in circumstances
    that would permit her to avoid the Agreement’s relocation provision. The panel directed the trial court to apply the
    best interests of the child standard if plaintiff failed to prove a substantial and unanticipated change.
    
             Following the panel’s decision, plaintiff returned with her children to New Jersey. The trial court denied
    her motion for a stay and ordered the parties to abide by the residency provisions in the Agreement. The Court
    granted plaintiff’s petition for certification. 
    227 N.J. 262
     (2016).
    
    HELD: The Court recognizes a “special justification” to abandon the standard it established in Baures v. Lewis,
    
    167 N.J. 91
     (2001) for determining the outcome of contested relocation determinations pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:2-2.
    In place of the Baures standard, courts should conduct a best interests analysis to determine “cause” under N.J.S.A.
    9:2-2 in all contested relocation disputes in which the parents share legal custody.
    
    1. New Jersey’s custody statute was enacted to further the public policy “to assure minor children of frequent and
    continuing contact with both parents after” separation or divorce. N.J.S.A. 9:2-4. The Legislature provided that
    “[i]n any proceeding involving the custody of a minor child, the rights of both parents shall be equal,” ibid., and
    prescribed a non-exclusive list of factors to guide a court charged to determine the custody arrangement that most
    effectively serves the child’s best interests. A custody arrangement adopted by the trial court is subject to
    modification based on a showing of changed circumstances, with the court determining custody in accordance with
    the best interests standard of N.J.S.A. 9:2-4. (pp. 15-18)
    2. N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 requires a showing of “cause” before a court will authorize the permanent removal of a child to
    another state without the consent of both parties. In Baures, the Court held that in the shared-custody setting, the
    trial court should treat the relocation application as “governed initially by a changed circumstances inquiry and
    ultimately by a simple best interests analysis.” Id. at 116. But if the parent seeking removal is the custodial parent,
    that parent would establish “cause” under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 if he or she proved good faith and that the move would not
    be inimical to the child’s interest. The Court identified two developments in support of its alteration of the
    governing standard for N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 relocation applications: (1) social science research indicated that when a
    relocation benefits a “custodial parent,” it will similarly benefit the child; and (2) the growing trend in the law easing
    restrictions on the custodial parent’s right to relocate with the children. Because the parties’ custodial arrangement
    is potentially dispositive when a court determines whether to authorize relocation under Baures, a collateral dispute
    regarding the parties’ good faith in their custody negotiations may arise. In such cases, the Appellate Division has
    held that the best interests standard would apply rather than the Baures standard. (pp. 18-25)
    
    3. In considering whether to retain the Baures standard as the benchmark for contested relocation determinations,
    the Court recognizes that it has always required a departure from precedent to be supported by some special
    justification. Such justification might be found when experience teaches that a rule of law has not achieved its
    intended result. (pp. 25-26)
    
    4. In deciding Baures, the Court did not intend to either diverge from the best interests standard at the core of the
    custody statute or circumvent the legislative policy giving parents equal rights in custody proceedings. Instead, the
    Court created the two-pronged “good faith” and “not . . . inimical to the child” test based on social science research
    and trends in the law. Since the Baures decision, however, the vigorous scholarly debate among social scientists
    who have studied the impact of relocation on children following divorce reveals that relocation may affect children
    in many different ways. Moreover, the progression in the law toward recognition of a custodial parent’s
    presumptive right to relocate with children, anticipated by this Court in Baures, has not materialized. Today, the
    majority of states impose a best interests test when considering a relocation application filed by a custodial parent;
    some have recently abandoned the presumption in favor of that parent. The standard adopted in Baures did not
    represent a lasting trend in the law. Moreover, by tethering the relocation standard to one party’s status as the
    custodial parent, the Baures standard may generate unnecessary disputes regarding that designation. Accordingly,
    the Court recognizes a “special justification” in this case to abandon that standard. (pp. 26-35)
    
    5. In place of the Baures standard, courts should conduct a best interests analysis to determine “cause” under
    N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 in all contested relocation disputes in which the parents share legal custody—whether the custody
    arrangement designates a parent of primary residence and a parent of alternate residence, or provides for equally
    shared custody. A number of the statutory best interests factors will be directly relevant in typical relocation
    decisions, and additional factors not set forth in the statute may also be considered in a given case. Contrary to
    plaintiff’s contention, the relocation constraints imposed by N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 do not infringe on the relocating parent’s
    constitutional right to interstate travel. (pp. 35-39)
    
    6. The Court remands to the trial court for a plenary hearing to determine whether the custody arrangement set forth
    in the parties’ Agreement should be modified to permit the relocation of their daughters to Utah. It does not agree
    with defendant’s assertion that by consenting to the interstate relocation provision of the Agreement, plaintiff
    waived her right to a judicial determination of her relocation application under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2. However, plaintiff
    must demonstrate changed circumstances to justify modification of the Agreement, and, because the relocation is
    permanent, she must demonstrate that there is “cause” for an order authorizing it. In that inquiry, “cause” should be
    determined by a best interests analysis in which the court will consider all relevant factors set forth in N.J.S.A. 9:2-
    4(c), supplemented by other factors as appropriate. Because the best interests standard applies to the determination
    of “cause” notwithstanding plaintiff’s designation as the parent of primary residence, the court need not decide
    whether plaintiff negotiated the parties’ Agreement in bad faith. (pp. 39-41)
    
              The judgment of the Appellate Division is MODIFIED and AFFIRMED, and the matter is REMANDED
    to the trial court for proceedings in accordance with this opinion.
    
         CHIEF JUSTICE RABNER and JUSTICES LaVECCHIA, ALBIN, FERNANDEZ-VINA,
    SOLOMON, and TIMPONE join in JUSTICE PATTERSON’s opinion.
    
    
    
    
                                                                2
                                           SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY
                                              A-2 September Term 2016
                                                      077533
    
    JAIME TAORMINA BISBING,
    
        Plaintiff-Appellant,
    
             v.
    
    GLENN R. BISBING, III,
    
        Defendant-Respondent.
    
    
             Argued March 29, 2017 – Decided August 8, 2017
    
             On certification to the Superior Court,
             Appellate Division.
    
             Paul H. Townsend argued the cause for
             appellant (Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark,
             attorneys; Paul H. Townsend, of counsel and
             on the brief; Valerie R. Wane, on the
             brief).
    
             Matheu D. Nunn argued the cause for
             respondent (Einhorn, Harris, Ascher,
             Barbarito & Frost, attorneys).
    
             Timothy F. McGoughran argued the cause for
             amicus curiae New Jersey State Bar
             Association (Thomas H. Prol, President, of
             counsel; Timothy F. McGoughran, Brian G.
             Paul, Derek M. Freed, and Albertina Webb, on
             the brief).
    
        JUSTICE PATTERSON delivered the opinion of the Court.
    
        This appeal arises from a trial court’s post-judgment
    
    determination authorizing a mother to permanently relocate with
    
    her children out of state, notwithstanding their father’s
    
    objection to the children’s move.   It requires that we address
    
                                    1
    the showing necessary to establish “cause” under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2
    
    for the entry of an order authorizing a parent to relocate out
    
    of state with his or her child, despite the other parent’s
    
    opposition to the child’s interstate move.
    
        Plaintiff Jaime Taormina Bisbing and defendant Glenn R.
    
    Bisbing, III, divorced when their twin daughters were seven
    
    years old.   Their judgment of divorce incorporated their
    
    settlement agreement that plaintiff would be the parent of
    
    primary residence and defendant would be the parent of alternate
    
    residence.   It provided that neither party would permanently
    
    relocate out of state with the children without the prior
    
    written consent of the other.     Several months after the parties’
    
    divorce, plaintiff advised defendant that she intended to marry
    
    the man whom she had been dating, a resident of Utah, and sought
    
    an order permitting her to move the children to that state.
    
        The trial court applied the standard set forth in this
    
    Court’s decision in Baures v. Lewis, 
    167 N.J. 91
    , 118-20 (2001).
    
    Under Baures, a parent with primary custody seeking to relocate
    
    children out of state over the objection of the other parent
    
    must demonstrate only that there is a good-faith reason for an
    
    interstate move and that the relocation “will not be inimical to
    
    the child’s interests.”   Ibid.   The trial court found that
    
    plaintiff sought to relocate for a good-faith reason and that
    
    the relocation would not be inimical to the interests of the
    
                                      2
    parties’ daughters.   The trial court authorized the children’s
    
    relocation to Utah, conditioned on an agreement allowing
    
    defendant scheduled visitation and regular communication with
    
    his daughters following the move.
    
        Defendant appealed, and an Appellate Division panel
    
    reversed the trial court’s judgment.    The panel held that if
    
    defendant were to make a showing on remand that plaintiff had
    
    negotiated the parties’ custody agreement in bad faith, the
    
    trial court should not apply the “inimical to the child’s
    
    interest” standard of Baures but should instead determine
    
    whether relocation would be in the best interests of the child.
    
    The panel thus imposed on a plaintiff who has negotiated a
    
    custody arrangement in bad faith a higher burden of proof on the
    
    question of “cause” under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 than the burden imposed
    
    under Baures.    We granted plaintiff’s petition for
    
    certification.
    
        We affirm and modify the Appellate Division’s judgment.       We
    
    depart from the two-part test that Baures prescribed for a
    
    relocation application brought by a parent of primary residence.
    
    We apply the same standard to all interstate relocation disputes
    
    under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 in which the parents share legal custody --
    
    cases in which one parent is designated as the parent of primary
    
    residence and the other is designated as the parent of alternate
    
    residence and cases in which custody is equally shared.    In all
    
                                      3
    such disputes, the trial court should decide whether there is
    
    “cause” under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 to authorize a child’s relocation
    
    out of state by weighing the factors set forth in N.J.S.A. 9:2-
    
    4, and other relevant considerations, and determining whether
    
    the relocation is in the child’s best interests.
    
        Accordingly, we modify and affirm the Appellate Division’s
    
    judgment and remand to the trial court for a plenary hearing to
    
    determine whether the proposed relocation of the parties’
    
    daughters to Utah is in the children’s best interests.
    
                                     I.
    
        Plaintiff and defendant were married on August 27, 2005.
    
    Their twin daughters were born on November 17, 2006.
    
        The family lived in Stanhope, near the parties’ respective
    
    families in Pennsylvania.   The children’s grandmothers assisted
    
    with child care while plaintiff and defendant worked.    Both
    
    parties were employed outside of the home during the marriage.
    
    Plaintiff commuted to New York City for her job, and defendant
    
    worked in New Jersey.
    
        In 2013, after eight years of marriage, plaintiff and
    
    defendant separated.    Without legal counsel, but with the
    
    assistance of a mediator, they agreed on the terms of the
    
    Marital Settlement Agreement (Agreement).   They executed that
    
    Agreement on March 8, 2014.
    
    
    
                                     4
         The parties’ Agreement provided that they would share
    
    “joint legal custody, with primary residential custody being
    
    with the mother, of the un-emancipated [c]hildren born of the
    
    marriage,” and that plaintiff “shall be the custodial parent.”1
    
    It stated that the children would stay with defendant every
    
    other weekend and one weeknight every other week.   The parties
    
    agreed on a parenting schedule for holidays, acknowledged that
    
    they both were entitled to attend all of their children’s
    
    events, and granted one another a right of first refusal if one
    
    parent were unable to care for the children during parenting
    
    time reserved for that parent.
    
    
    
    
    1  In this opinion, we use the terms “parent of primary
    residence” and “parent of alternate residence,” rather than the
    terms “custodial parent” and “noncustodial parent,” to describe
    the parties’ respective parenting roles under their Agreement.
    See Fall & Romanowski, Child Custody, Protection & Support §
    21:2-1(c) (2017) (“Use of the antithetical designations
    ‘custodial’ or ‘noncustodial’ parent and ‘sole’ or ‘joint’
    physical custody should be avoided in favor of terms that more
    accurately describe the joint parenting arrangement that is
    preferred and typically exercised today.”). The Child Support
    Guidelines use the term “parent of primary residence” to denote
    “[t]he parent with whom the child spends most of his or her
    overnight time,” or “[i]f the time spent with each parent is
    equal . . . the parent with whom the child resides while
    attending school.” Child Support Guidelines, Pressler &
    Verniero, Current N.J. Court Rules, Appendix IX-A to R. 5:6A at
    www.gannlaw.com (2017); Fall & Romanowski, supra, Appendix IX-A
    at 1073-74. The Guidelines use the term “parent of alternate
    residence” to denote “the parent with whom the child resides
    when not living in the primary residence.” Child Support
    Guidelines, Pressler & Verniero, supra, Appendix IX-A to R. 5:6A
    at www.gannlaw.com; Fall & Romanowski, supra, Appendix IX-A at
    1073-74.
                                     5
        The Agreement included a provision addressing any future
    
    disputes regarding the relocation of the children:
    
             Relocation. The parties agree that each shall
             inform the other with respect to any change of
             residence concerning himself or herself or the
             said minor Children for the period of time
             wherein any provision contained in this
             Agreement remains unfulfilled.    The parties
             represent that they both will make every
             effort to remain in close proximity, within a
             fifteen (15) minute drive from the other.
             Neither party shall permanently relocate with
             the Children from the State of New Jersey
             without the prior written consent of the
             other.     Neither   parent   shall   relocate
             intrastate further than 20 miles from the
             other party.     In the event either party
             relocates more than 20 miles from the other
             party, the parties agree to return to
             mediation to review the custody arrangement.
             In the event a job would necessitate a move,
             the parties agree to discuss this together and
             neither will make a unilateral decision.
             Neither party shall travel with the minor
             Children out of the United States without the
             prior written consent of the other party.
    
             The parties hereby acknowledge that the
             Children’s quality of life and style of life
             are provided equally by Husband and Wife.
    
             The parties hereby acknowledge a direct causal
             connection between the frequency and duration
             of the Children’s contact with both parties
             and the quality of the relationship of the
             Children and each party.
    
             The parties hereby acknowledge that any
             proposed move that relocates the Children
             further away from either party may have a
             detrimental impact upon the frequency and
             duration of the contact between the Children
             and the non-moving party.
    
             [(emphasis added).]
    
                                    6
        On April 16, 2014, the trial court entered a judgment of
    
    divorce, incorporating the terms of the parties’ Agreement.
    
        In the months that followed their divorce, plaintiff and
    
    defendant lived near one another and cooperated in the care of
    
    their children.   Defendant was not restricted to the parenting
    
    time prescribed by the Agreement -- his alternate-weekend time
    
    with the children often extended until Monday morning, and the
    
    children frequently stayed overnight at his home after their
    
    scheduled weekday evening visit.      The record indicates that
    
    during this initial post-judgment period, the parties sent one
    
    another cordial and cooperative e-mails regarding their
    
    children’s schedules.
    
        Plaintiff took primary responsibility for the girls’ school
    
    and extracurricular activities.       Defendant was also extensively
    
    involved in his daughters’ lives.      He served as their soccer
    
    coach, assisted with their ski team, and oversaw their
    
    activities at church.   Because plaintiff departed for her job in
    
    New York City early in the morning, defendant went to her home
    
    several mornings each week to assist the children as they
    
    prepared for school.
    
        Sometime prior to the entry of the judgment of divorce,
    
    plaintiff began dating Jake Fackrell, a Utah resident who
    
    operated a business in Idaho.   The parties dispute whether
    
    plaintiff told defendant that her relationship with Fackrell was
    
                                      7
    serious before defendant agreed that plaintiff would be
    
    designated as the parent of primary residence.     Plaintiff
    
    contends that she candidly discussed the fact that she was
    
    dating Fackrell with defendant prior to executing their
    
    Agreement; defendant asserts that plaintiff did not inform him
    
    that her relationship with Fackrell was serious until the
    
    divorce proceedings were concluded.
    
        Effective July 1, 2014, plaintiff resigned from her
    
    employment.   She later told the trial court that she left her
    
    job to spend more time with her daughters and that Fackrell had
    
    begun to support her financially.     Plaintiff stated that she
    
    brought her daughters on trips to visit Fackrell and his
    
    children in Utah and that the children enjoyed their time in
    
    Utah.
    
        According to defendant, following her resignation from her
    
    job, plaintiff restricted defendant’s parenting time to the
    
    precise terms of the parties’ Agreement and limited his family’s
    
    access to the children.
    
        On January 8, 2015, plaintiff told defendant that she
    
    intended to marry Fackrell and move to Utah.     Plaintiff and
    
    Fackrell were married on June 29, 2015.
    
        Plaintiff asked defendant to consent to the permanent
    
    relocation of the children to Utah.     Defendant replied that
    
    plaintiff was free to move to Utah, but that the children must
    
                                     8
    remain in New Jersey with him.    Plaintiff contends that
    
    following her request for permission to move the children,
    
    defendant refused to engage in meaningful conversations about
    
    her proposed move or the parties’ parenting time.
    
        Each party retained counsel to negotiate a settlement, but
    
    they were unable to resolve their dispute.
    
                                     II.
    
        Plaintiff filed a motion pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:2-2.      She
    
    sought an order permitting her to permanently relocate the
    
    children to Utah or, in the alternative, authorizing their
    
    temporary move to Utah pending a plenary hearing.    Plaintiff
    
    offered to negotiate a schedule for defendant’s visitation and
    
    communication with the children after their move.
    
        In support of her motion, plaintiff filed a certification
    
    stating that she planned to marry Fackrell and that his business
    
    interests precluded him from moving to New Jersey.    She told the
    
    trial court that the children disliked their school in New
    
    Jersey and would have better educational opportunities in Utah.
    
    Plaintiff assured the court that after the children’s departure
    
    for Utah defendant would still be afforded regular visitation
    
    with the children in New Jersey and Utah, as well as the
    
    opportunity to communicate with them on a daily basis by
    
    telephone and various forms of electronic communication.     She
    
    argued that under the Baures standard, the relocation would not
    
                                     9
    be inimical to the children’s interests because it would enable
    
    her to stay home with the children instead of returning to work
    
    and it would benefit the children to have a stay-at-home parent.
    
        Defendant contended that plaintiff had negotiated the
    
    parties’ Agreement in bad faith and sought the opportunity to
    
    prove that claim at a plenary hearing.   Defendant argued that
    
    plaintiff secured his consent to her designation as parent of
    
    primary residence without informing him that she contemplated
    
    relocating to Utah in order to gain an advantage under the
    
    Baures standard.   He asserted that the relocation would make it
    
    impossible for him to maintain a full and continuous
    
    relationship with his daughters and that electronic
    
    communications would not serve as a substitute for the time that
    
    he would spend with them were they to remain in New Jersey.
    
        Applying the Baures test without conducting a plenary
    
    hearing, the trial court determined that plaintiff presented a
    
    good-faith reason for her planned relocation and that the move
    
    would not be inimical to the children’s interests.    The court
    
    acknowledged that the children’s move to Utah would reduce the
    
    time spent with their father but suggested that a visitation
    
    plan would facilitate a strong, consistent relationship between
    
    defendant and his daughters.
    
        The trial court granted plaintiff’s application for an
    
    order permitting her to relocate the children to Utah,
    
                                    10
    conditioned on the parties’ agreement on a visitation plan.    The
    
    court denied defendant’s motion to stay its order.    The parties
    
    discussed a visitation plan but were unable to reach an
    
    agreement on that issue.
    
         Noting that it had directed both parties to propose
    
    visitation plans and that defendant failed to submit a proposal,
    
    the trial court decided on a visitation schedule substantially
    
    based on plaintiff’s proposal.2    The trial court entered a final
    
    order permitting relocation of the children and establishing a
    
    visitation schedule; the court declined to stay that order.
    
         Plaintiff moved with the children to Utah and enrolled them
    
    in an elementary school.
    
         Defendant appealed the trial court’s order.3    An Appellate
    
    Division panel reversed the trial court’s determination and
    
    remanded to the trial court for a plenary hearing.    Bisbing v.
    
    
    2  Under that schedule, the children would visit defendant in New
    Jersey for seven weeks each summer; during their fall, winter
    and spring school breaks; and every other Thanksgiving.
    Defendant would have the right to visit the children in Utah for
    five days per month on thirty days’ notice to plaintiff, to
    “have daily phone contact with [the] children as well as the
    opportunity to FaceTime, Skype, or any other form of video
    communication on a daily basis” and to read them “a bedtime
    story once per week via video communication.”
    
    3  Prior to the trial court’s entry of its order on relocation
    and visitation, defendant sought to appeal the court’s
    determination on relocation as of right pursuant to Rule 2:2-
    3(a). His notice of appeal was dismissed because the trial
    court had not entered a final order resolving all issues in the
    matter.
                                      11
    Bisbing, 
    445 N.J. Super. 207
    , 220 (App. Div. 2016).    The panel
    
    noted that the first inquiry under Baures -- the inquiry that
    
    determines the governing standard -- is whether the parents have
    
    agreed on a custodial relationship in which one parent has
    
    primary custody and the other serves a secondary custodial role.
    
    Id. at 215 (citing Baures, supra, 167 N.J. at 116-19, 122;
    
    O’Connor v. O’Connor, 
    349 N.J. Super. 381
    , 385 (App. Div. 2002).
    
    The Appellate Division panel then found that there was a genuine
    
    issue of material fact as to whether plaintiff negotiated the
    
    custody provisions of the Agreement in good faith, due to her
    
    ongoing relationship with Fackrell when the parties’ Agreement
    
    was signed, her decision to leave her job shortly after the
    
    parties’ divorce, and her application to relocate the children,
    
    which she filed only four months after the parties agreed that
    
    she would serve as the parent of primary residence.    Id. at 216-
    
    17.
    
          The panel ruled that if the trial court concluded that
    
    plaintiff had acted in bad faith, then plaintiff’s motion for an
    
    order of relocation should be resolved under a best interests
    
    standard, instead of the more lenient “not . . . inimical to the
    
    child’s interests” standard of Baures.   Id. at 215.   It held
    
    that if defendant failed to prove plaintiff’s bad faith on
    
    remand, the trial court would then determine whether plaintiff
    
    proved a substantial and unanticipated change in circumstances
    
                                    12
    that would permit her to avoid the Agreement’s relocation
    
    restriction.   Id. at 218-19.   The panel directed the trial court
    
    to apply the best interests of the child standard to the
    
    relocation request if plaintiff failed to prove a substantial
    
    and unanticipated change in circumstances.    Id. at 219.
    
         Following the Appellate Division’s decision, plaintiff
    
    returned with her children to New Jersey.    The trial court
    
    denied plaintiff’s motion for a stay of the Appellate Division’s
    
    order and her application for permission to temporarily relocate
    
    the children to Utah so that they could return to their school
    
    in that state.   The trial court ordered that “neither party
    
    shall reside with the minor children more than 15 minutes away
    
    from the other parent,” as set forth in the Agreement.      With
    
    defendant’s consent, plaintiff moved with the children to her
    
    parents’ home in Pennsylvania, close to the border between New
    
    Jersey and Pennsylvania.
    
         We granted plaintiff’s petition for certification.     
    227 N.J. 262
     (2016).4   We also granted the application of the New
    
    Jersey State Bar Association to appear as amicus curiae.
    
    
    4  After her return with the parties’ children to New Jersey,
    plaintiff did not send the children to school but initially
    home-schooled them and then hired a tutor. The trial court
    commenced a plenary hearing to determine how the children would
    be educated, but suspended that hearing following this Court’s
    grant of certification on the issue of relocation. Both parties
    filed emergent applications to this Court seeking a
    determination of their dispute over the children’s education.
                                     13
                                    III.
    
        Plaintiff argues that the Appellate Division panel
    
    improperly created a new standard that is amorphous, overly
    
    broad, and unduly burdensome.   She contends that the panel’s
    
    decision will generate frivolous disputes over the relocation of
    
    children.   Plaintiff maintains that the panel should have
    
    applied the Baures test to her application, notwithstanding the
    
    relocation provision in the parties’ Agreement.   She asserts
    
    that the Appellate Division’s decision infringes on her
    
    constitutional right to travel because it prevents her from
    
    relocating to Utah.
    
        Defendant urges the Court to enforce the terms of the
    
    parties’ Agreement.   He contends that the Appellate Division’s
    
    standard is not new, that it will not increase litigation, and
    
    that it will eliminate a party’s incentive to bargain for the
    
    status of parent of primary residence in anticipation of a
    
    planned relocation.   Defendant notes that in N.J.S.A. 9:2-4 the
    
    Legislature expressed a strong public policy in favor of custody
    
    arrangements that promote a child’s continuous interaction with
    
    both parents.   Defendant states that a parent who shares joint
    
    legal custody of her children with another parent and agrees not
    
    
    
    
    We remanded the matter to the trial court, which ordered that
    the children attend a school in New Jersey that had merged with
    the school they attended prior to their move to Utah.
                                    14
    to relocate with the children without the other parent’s consent
    
    has no constitutional right to relocate with the children.
    
        Amicus curiae the New Jersey State Bar Association opposes
    
    the standard applied by the panel.   It contends that a parent
    
    entering into a custody agreement does not waive his or her
    
    right to seek a judicial determination of custody unless that
    
    parent waives that right with clear and unmistakable language.
    
    The New Jersey State Bar Association urges the Court to affirm
    
    the panel’s determination but modify its instructions to the
    
    trial court, so that the trial court will determine whether
    
    plaintiff waived her right to a judicial decision on the
    
    question of relocation, apply a best interests analysis if
    
    plaintiff did waive that right, and apply the Baures standard if
    
    she did not do so.   At oral argument, the New Jersey State Bar
    
    Association stated that the Baures standard should be reviewed.
    
                                   IV.
    
                                    A.
    
        This appeal arose from the trial court’s application of
    
    N.J.S.A. 9:2-2, a provision addressing the custody of children
    
    after the separation or divorce of their parents.   The custody
    
    statute was enacted to further New Jersey’s public policy “to
    
    assure minor children of frequent and continuing contact with
    
    both parents after” separation or divorce.   N.J.S.A. 9:2-4.    The
    
    Legislature declared it to be “in the public interest to
    
                                    15
    encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of
    
    child rearing in order to effect this policy.”    Ibid.    It
    
    provided that “[i]n any proceeding involving the custody of a
    
    minor child, the rights of both parents shall be equal.”        Ibid.
    
        The custody statute affords to the Family Part a range of
    
    options to serve the needs of children and their families:
    
    “[j]oint custody of a minor child to both parents,” “[s]ole
    
    custody to one parent with appropriate parenting time for the
    
    noncustodial parent,” and “[a]ny other custody arrangement as
    
    the court may determine to be in the best interests of the
    
    child.”   N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(a), (b), (c).   The Legislature
    
    prescribed a non-exclusive list of factors to guide a court
    
    charged to determine the custody arrangement that most
    
    effectively serves the child’s best interests:
    
              the parents’ ability to agree, communicate and
              cooperate in matters relating to the child;
              the parents’ willingness to accept custody and
              any   history   of  unwillingness   to   allow
              parenting time not based on substantiated
              abuse; the interaction and relationship of the
              child with its parents and siblings; the
              history of domestic violence, if any; the
              safety of the child and the safety of either
              parent from physical abuse by the other
              parent; the preference of the child when of
              sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to
              form an intelligent decision; the needs of the
              child; the stability of the home environment
              offered; the quality and continuity of the
              child’s education; the fitness of the parents;
              the geographical proximity of the parents’
              homes; the extent and quality of the time
              spent with the child prior to or subsequent to
    
                                    16
              the separation; the parents’ employment
              responsibilities; and the age and number of
              the children. A parent shall not be deemed
              unfit unless the parents’ conduct has a
              substantial adverse effect on the child.
    
              [N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(c).]
    
         When “the parents cannot agree to a custody arrangement,”
    
    the court may require each parent to submit a custody plan for
    
    its consideration.    N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(e).   When a court orders a
    
    custody arrangement that is not agreed to by both parents, it
    
    must identify on the record the specific factors that justify
    
    the arrangement.     N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(f).
    
         A custody arrangement adopted by the trial court, whether
    
    based on the parties’ agreement or imposed by the court, is
    
    subject to modification based on a showing of changed
    
    circumstances, with the court determining custody in accordance
    
    with the best interests standard of N.J.S.A. 9:2-4.5    See Beck v.
    
    Beck, 
    86 N.J. 480
    , 496 n.8 (1981) (noting that party seeking
    
    change in custody arrangement must demonstrate “change of
    
    circumstances warranting modification”); Mimkon v. Ford, 
    66 N.J. 426
    , 438 (1975) (holding that custody orders are “subject to
    
    
    
    
    5 In the context of an application to modify support obligations
    set forth in a settlement agreement, this Court has held that
    obligations created by parties’ agreements entered into at the
    time of a divorce may be modified by a court upon a showing of
    changed circumstances, the same standard that governs
    modification of judicial orders addressing those issues. Lepis
    v. Lepis, 
    83 N.J. 139
    , 146 (1980).
                                      17
    modification at any time on showing of changed circumstances”);
    
    Abouzahr v. Matera-Abouzahr, 
    361 N.J. Super. 135
    , 152 (App.
    
    Div.) (“A party seeking modification of a judgment,
    
    incorporating a [settlement agreement] regarding custody or
    
    visitation, must meet the burden of showing changed
    
    circumstances and that the agreement is now not in the best
    
    interests of a child.”), certif. denied, 
    178 N.J. 34
     (2003).
    
                                     B.
    
        The provision of the custody statute at the center of this
    
    appeal is N.J.S.A. 9:2-2.    It requires a showing of “cause”
    
    before a court will authorize the permanent removal of a child
    
    to another state without the consent of both parents or, if the
    
    child is of “suitable age” to decide, the consent of the child.
    
    Specifically, the statute provides:
    
             When the Superior Court has jurisdiction over
             the custody and maintenance of the minor
             children of parents divorced, separated or
             living separate, and such children are natives
             of this State, or have resided five years
             within its limits, they shall not be removed
             out of its jurisdiction against their own
             consent, if of suitable age to signify the
             same, nor while under that age without the
             consent of both parents, unless the court,
             upon cause shown, shall otherwise order. The
             court, upon application of any person [o]n
             behalf of such minors, may require such
             security and issue such writs and processes as
             shall be deemed proper to effect the purposes
             of this section.
    
             [N.J.S.A. 9:2-2.]
    
    
                                     18
           The Legislature required a showing of “cause” for an out-
    
    of-state relocation under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 in order “to preserve
    
    the rights of the noncustodial parent and the child to maintain
    
    and develop their familial relationship.”      Holder v. Polanski,
    
    
    111 N.J. 344
    , 350 (1988) (quoting Cooper v. Cooper, 
    99 N.J. 42
    ,
    
    50 (1984)).
    
           As this Court has observed, a court making the sensitive
    
    determination of “cause” must weigh “the custodial parent’s
    
    interest in freedom of movement as qualified by his or her
    
    custodial obligation, the State’s interest in protecting the
    
    best interests of the child, and the competing interests of the
    
    noncustodial parent.”    Ibid. (citing Cooper, supra, 99 N.J. at
    
    56).   When a parent of alternate residence objects to a proposal
    
    by the parent of primary residence to relocate children out of
    
    state, “there is a clash between the custodial parent’s interest
    
    in self-determination and the noncustodial parent’s interest in
    
    the companionship of the child.”      Baures, supra, 167 N.J. at 97.
    
    In the application of N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 to a relocation dispute,
    
    “[t]here is rarely an easy answer or even an entirely
    
    satisfactory one.”    Ibid.
    
           The Court discussed the showing necessary for a finding of
    
    “cause” under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 in two cases decided prior to
    
    Baures.   In Cooper, supra, the Court held that a custodial
    
    parent seeking an order authorizing the relocation of children
    
                                     19
    must show “a real advantage to that parent in the move,” and
    
    demonstrate that relocation would not be “inimical to the best
    
    interests of the children.”    99 N.J. at 56.    The Court modified
    
    that test in Holder, supra, ruling that a custodial parent
    
    demonstrates “cause” for purposes of N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 if he or she
    
    presents a “good-faith reason” for the relocation and
    
    demonstrates that it would not be “inimical to the best
    
    interests of the children or adversely affect the visitation
    
    rights of the noncustodial parent.”      111 N.J. at 353.
    
           In Baures, supra, the Court substantially eased the burden
    
    imposed on a custodial parent to demonstrate “cause” for a
    
    relocation under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2.      167 N.J. at 116-20.   Under the
    
    standard prescribed in that case, a trial court’s threshold
    
    determination is whether the objecting parent “shares physical
    
    custody either de facto or de jure or exercises the bulk of
    
    custodial responsibilities due to the incapacity of the
    
    custodial parent or by formal or informal agreement.”       Id. at
    
    116.   The Court held that in the shared-custody setting, the
    
    trial court should treat the relocation application as a motion
    
    for a change in custody “governed initially by a changed
    
    circumstances inquiry and ultimately by a simple best interests
    
    analysis.”   Ibid.
    
           The Court held that if the trial court’s threshold inquiry
    
    reveals that the parent seeking removal is the custodial parent,
    
                                     20
    that parent would establish “cause” under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 if he
    
    or she proved “good faith and that the move will not be inimical
    
    to the child’s interest.”    Id. at 116.     The Court set forth a
    
    list of factors, “not all [of which] will be relevant and of
    
    equal weight in every case,” to guide the determination of the
    
    “good faith” and “not . . . inimical to the child’s interest”
    
    prongs of its new test.     Id. at 116-17.
    
        In Baures, the Court displaced the burden, imposed under
    
    Holder on the parent seeking relocation, to demonstrate that the
    
    move would not adversely affect the visitation rights of the
    
    noncustodial parent.     Id. at 112 (citing Holder, supra, 111 N.J.
    
    at 353).   The Court held that a trial court should not deny a
    
    motion for relocation merely because the modification would
    
    reduce the objecting parent’s visitation but should bar
    
    relocation only if the move would have an “adverse effect,”
    
    defined as “a change in visitation that will not allow the
    
    noncustodial parent to maintain his or her relationship with the
    
    child.”    Id. at 113.
    
        The Court identified two developments in support of its
    
    alteration of the governing standard for N.J.S.A. 9:2-2
    
    relocation applications.    Id. at 106-09.    First, the Court
    
    concluded that when a relocation benefits a “custodial parent,”
    
    it will, as a general rule, similarly benefit the child.         Id. at
    
    106-08.    The Court commented that “social science research links
    
                                      21
    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,” and that such
    
    research “has uniformly confirmed the simple principle that, in
    
    general, what is good for the custodial parent is good for the
    
    child.”    Id. at 106.   For that conclusion, the Court relied on
    
    two studies:   Judith S. Wallerstein & Tony J. Tanke, To Move or
    
    Not to Move:   Psychological and Legal Considerations in the
    
    Relocation of Children Following Divorce, 30 Fam. L.Q. 305, 311-
    
    12 (1996), and Marsha Kline et al., Children’s Adjustment in
    
    Joint and Sole Physical Custody Families, 25 Developmental
    
    Psychol. 430, 431 (1989) (co-authored by Wallerstein).       Baures,
    
    supra, 167 N.J. at 106.    The Court also cited social science
    
    research for the principle that, “[a]lthough confidence that he
    
    or she is loved and supported by both parents is crucial to the
    
    child’s well-being after a divorce, no particular visitation
    
    configuration is necessary to foster that belief.”      Id. at 107
    
    (citing Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr. & Andrew J. Cherlin, Divided
    
    Families:   What Happens to Children When Parents Part 72
    
    (1991)).
    
        Second, the Court invoked “the growing trend in the law
    
    easing restrictions on the custodial parent’s right to relocate
    
    with the children and recognizing the identity of interest of
    
    the custodial parent and child.”       Baures, supra, 167 N.J. at
    
                                      22
    107-09 (discussing In re Marriage of Burgess, 
    913 P.2d 473
    , 481
    
    (Cal. 1996); In re Marriage of Francis, 
    919 P.2d 776
    , 778, 779,
    
    782, 784-85 (Colo. 1996) (en banc); Sefkow v. Sefkow, 
    427 N.W.2d 203
    , 214 (Minn. 1988) (en banc); Auge v. Auge, 
    334 N.W.2d 393
    ,
    
    399 (Minn. 1983) (en banc), superseded by statute, Minn. Stat. §
    
    518.175; Tropea v. Tropea, 
    665 N.E.2d 145
    , 149-51 (N.Y. 1996);
    
    Fortin v. Fortin, 
    500 N.W.2d 229
    , 233 (S.D. 1993); Taylor v.
    
    Taylor, 
    849 S.W.2d 319
    , 332 (Tenn. 1993); Long v. Long, 
    381 N.W.2d 350
    , 352 (Wis. 1986)).   In support of the custodial
    
    parent’s “presumptive right” to move, the Court relied primarily
    
    on the California Supreme Court’s decision in Burgess, in which
    
    Wallerstein appeared as amicus curiae to present her research.
    
    Id. at 108-09; Burgess, supra, 913 P.2d at 483 n.11.   The Court
    
    characterized this authority as representing a “shift in
    
    relocation law” in favor of a custodial parent’s decision to
    
    relocate out of state with his or her child.   Ibid.
    
        In the wake of Baures, trial courts routinely conduct a
    
    threshold determination of whether the parties’ custody
    
    arrangement assigns to one parent a primary role or involves
    
    equally shared custody.   See, e.g., Morgan v. Morgan, 
    205 N.J. 50
    , 66-67 (2011) (rejecting father’s contention that
    
    notwithstanding terms of parties’ agreement, parties’ custody
    
    arrangement was in effect shared custody for purposes of
    
    threshold determination under Baures); Barblock v. Barblock, 383
    
                                    
    23 N.J. Super. 114
    , 124-25 (App. Div. 2006) (rejecting father’s
    
    claim that custody arrangement constituted shared custody due to
    
    parents’ equal allocation of time with children); O’Connor,
    
    supra, 349 N.J. Super. at 385 (affirming trial court’s
    
    determination that despite terms of parties’ agreement, father
    
    assumed most custodial responsibilities and arrangement was in
    
    effect shared custody); Mamolen v. Mamolen, 
    346 N.J. Super. 493
    ,
    
    501-02 (App. Div. 2002) (reversing trial court’s determination
    
    that custody arrangement amounted to shared custody based
    
    primarily on children’s emotional relationship with father).     By
    
    virtue of the Baures standard, the parties’ custody arrangement
    
    is the focus of the court’s initial inquiry.
    
        Because the parties’ custodial arrangement is potentially
    
    dispositive when a court determines whether to authorize
    
    relocation under Baures, a collateral dispute regarding the
    
    parties’ good faith in their custody negotiations may arise.     In
    
    Shea v. Shea, after the parent of primary residence sought an
    
    order authorizing her to relocate the child out of state, the
    
    parent of alternate residence accused her of “a subterfuge in
    
    that she planned to seek removal [of the child from New Jersey]
    
    shortly after the divorce was entered.”   
    384 N.J. Super. 266
    ,
    
    268-70 (Ch. Div. 2005).   The parent of primary residence
    
    “denie[d] any manipulative purpose.”   Id. at 270.   The court
    
    held that when a request for relocation closely follows a
    
                                    24
    settlement and a final judgment of divorce, and the party
    
    seeking to remove the child knew of “the material facts and
    
    circumstances forming the good faith reason for the removal
    
    request” when judgment was entered, the best interests standard
    
    would apply, whether or not “the parties had a true shared
    
    parenting arrangement.”    Id. at 271.   The court observed that
    
    “[t]o rule otherwise could potentially encourage disingenuous
    
    settlements, encourage a party to use the Baures line of cases
    
    as a sword, or alternatively compel a cautious party to
    
    exhaustively litigate custody when not truly necessary.”     Ibid.
    
           That principle was applied by the panel in this case, which
    
    held that if a remand hearing revealed that plaintiff
    
    manipulated the parties’ negotiations to gain an advantage in an
    
    anticipated relocation dispute, “‘fundamental fairness’ requires
    
    the trial court to apply the ‘best interests of the child’
    
    standard rather than the Baures standard.”    Bisbing, supra, 445
    
    N.J. Super. at 217 (quoting Shea, supra, 384 N.J. Super. at 273-
    
    74).
    
                                     C.
    
           In that setting, we consider whether to retain the Baures
    
    standard as the benchmark for contested relocation
    
    determinations decided pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:2-2.
    
           “[W]e do not lightly alter one of our rulings” because
    
    consistent jurisprudence “provides stability and certainty to
    
                                     25
    the law.”   Pinto v. Spectrum Chems. & Lab. Prods., 
    200 N.J. 580
    ,
    
    598 (2010).   The principle of stare decisis “carries such
    
    persuasive force that we have always required a departure from
    
    precedent to be supported by some special justification.”
    
    Luchejko v. City of Hoboken, 
    207 N.J. 191
    , 208 (2011) (quoting
    
    State v. Brown, 
    190 N.J. 144
    , 157 (2007)).    Such justification
    
    might be found “when experience teaches that a rule of law has
    
    not achieved its intended result.”    Pinto, supra, 200 N.J. at
    
    598; cf. Olds v. Donnelly, 
    150 N.J. 424
    , 440 (1997) (“Candor
    
    compels that we acknowledge that the application of the entire
    
    controversy doctrine to legal-malpractice claims has not
    
    fulfilled our expectations.”).
    
        We find such justification for a departure from precedent
    
    in this case.   In deciding Baures, the Court did not intend to
    
    diverge from the best interests of the child standard at the
    
    core of our custody statute, or to circumvent the legislative
    
    policy that parents have equal rights “[i]n any proceeding
    
    involving the custody of a minor child.”    N.J.S.A. 9:2-4.
    
    Instead, confronting a dispute that defies simple solutions, the
    
    Court sought guidance in social science research as to the best
    
    interests of the child, which at that time tethered the best
    
    interests of the child to the custodial parent’s well-being.
    
    Baures, supra, 167 N.J. at 97, 106-09.     The Court also discerned
    
    a trend in the law “significantly eas[ing] the burden on
    
                                     26
    custodial parents in removal cases.”     Id. at 107 (collecting
    
    cases).   On those grounds, the Court replaced the best interests
    
    of the child test in relocation applications brought by parents
    
    with primary custody in favor of its two-pronged “good faith”
    
    and “not . . . inimical to the child” test.    Id. at 118.
    
        Wallerstein’s social science research suggesting that the
    
    primary custodian’s welfare is the paramount consideration has
    
    been both supported and called into question in publications by
    
    scholars in the field.   See Richard A. Warshak, Social Science
    
    and Children’s Best Interests in Relocation Cases:    Burgess
    
    Revisited, 34 Fam. L.Q. 83, 83, 109-10 (2000) (criticizing
    
    amicus curiae brief submitted to California court by Wallerstein
    
    in Burgess because seven of ten studies cited in brief were
    
    authored by Wallerstein or other members of her research group
    
    and because brief did not recognize limits of social science);
    
    see also Sanford L. Braver, et al., Relocation of Children After
    
    Divorce and Children’s Best Interests:     New Evidence and Legal
    
    Considerations, 17 J. Fam. Psychol. 206, 210 (2003) (“[C]ourts
    
    ought to have better data than was available to the Burgess and
    
    Baures tribunals on the question of the impact of parental moves
    
    on the children of divorce.”); Carol S. Bruch, Sound Research or
    
    Wishful Thinking in Child Custody Cases?    Lessons from
    
    Relocation Law, 40 Fam. L.Q. 281, 314 (2006) (concluding that
    
    protecting child’s relationship with his or her primary
    
                                    27
    caregiver and that person’s decisions, including decision to
    
    relocate, serves child’s best interests).   Other research has
    
    underscored the critical importance of a child’s close
    
    relationship with his or her parent of alternate residence.
    
    See, e.g., Paul R. Amato & Joan G. Gilbreth, Nonresident Fathers
    
    and Children’s Well-Being:   A Meta-Analysis, 61 J. Marriage &
    
    Fam. 557, 559-65 (1999) (concluding that data from sixty-three
    
    studies indicates that child’s “feelings of closeness” with and
    
    “authoritative parenting” by his or her “nonresident father” are
    
    associated with child’s academic achievement and well-being); K.
    
    Alison Clarke-Stewart & Craig Hayward, Advantages of Father
    
    Custody and Contact for the Psychological Well-Being of School-
    
    Age Children, 17 J. Applied Developmental Psychol. 239, 260
    
    (1996) (recounting study’s finding that “parentlike contact with
    
    the noncustodial parent had the additional advantage of being
    
    associated with better relations with both parents, which to
    
    some extent was responsible for children’s better well-being”).
    
        In short, social scientists who have studied the impact of
    
    relocation on children following divorce have not reached a
    
    consensus.   Instead, the vigorous scholarly debate reveals that
    
    relocation may affect children in many different ways.
    
    The Court’s conclusion in Baures, supra, that in general, “what
    
    is good for the custodial parent is good for the child” is no
    
    doubt correct with regard to some families following a divorce.
    
                                    28
    167 N.J. at 106.   As the social science literature reflects,
    
    however, that statement is not universally true; a relocation
    
    far away from a parent may have a significant adverse effect on
    
    a child.   See Braver, et al., supra, 17 J. Fam. Psychol. at 210
    
    (“We find a preponderance of negative effects associated with
    
    parental moves by mother or father, with or without the child,
    
    as compared with divorced families in which neither parent moved
    
    away.”); Christine Winquist Nord, et al., Fathers’ Involvement
    
    in Their Children’s Schools, Nat’l Ctr. Educ. Statistics (Sept.
    
    1997), https://nces.ed.gov/pubs98/fathers/ (reporting on
    
    research demonstrating importance of active participation in
    
    children’s school by “nonresident fathers”).
    
        Moreover, the progression in the law toward recognition of
    
    a parent of primary residence’s presumptive right to relocate
    
    with children, anticipated by this Court in Baures, has not
    
    materialized.   See Baures, supra, 167 N.J. at 109 (identifying
    
    “growing trend” in case law against restrictions on custodial
    
    parent’s right to relocate with children and recognizing that
    
    parent’s identity of interest with child).   For instance, in In
    
    re Marriage of Ciesluk, 
    113 P.3d 135
    , 137 (Colo. 2005) (en
    
    banc), the Colorado Supreme Court repudiated the test it adopted
    
    in Francis, supra, 919 P.2d at 784-85, in light of a legislative
    
    enactment that eliminated the presumption in favor of the
    
    majority time parent seeking to relocate.    Francis, supra, 919
    
                                    29
    P.2d at 784-85, was a leading case on which this Court relied in
    
    Baures, supra, 167 N.J. at 109.    The Supreme Court of
    
    California, whose opinion in Burgess was also relied on in
    
    Baures, has revisited the standard of Burgess and a state
    
    statute codifying Burgess, Cal. Fam. Code § 7501, and has
    
    reaffirmed its earlier rejection of “bright line rules in this
    
    area” in favor of an evaluation of each case “on its own unique
    
    facts.”   In re Marriage of LaMusga, 
    88 P.3d 81
    , 91 (Cal. 2004).
    
         Today, the majority of states, either by statute or by case
    
    law, impose a best interests test when considering a relocation
    
    application filed by a parent with primary custody or custody
    
    for the majority of the child’s time; some have recently
    
    abandoned a presumption in favor of the parent of primary
    
    residence.6   A minority of jurisdictions apply a standard that
    
    
    6  Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-408(A),(G) (providing that if both
    parents are entitled to joint legal-decision making or parenting
    time, court shall determine whether to allow parent to relocate
    child in accordance with child’s best interests); Conn. Gen.
    Stat. § 46b-56d(a) (requiring that when relocation impacts
    parenting plan, relocating parent must prove relocation is for
    legitimate purpose, proposed location is reasonable, and
    relocation is in best interests of child); 750 Ill. Comp. Stat.
    5/609.2(b),(g) (providing that relocation by parent with
    majority or equal parenting time requires court to modify
    parenting plan or allocation in accordance with child’s best
    interests); Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3109.051(G)(1) (providing that
    if residential parent moves to residence not specified in
    decree, court schedules hearing to determine whether it is in
    best interest of child to revise parenting time schedule); 23
    Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5337(h) (prescribing best interests of child
    factors governing relocation decision); Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-
    37(4) (requiring court to decide whether relocation of custodian
                                      30
    is in best interests of child); Chesser-Witmer v. Chesser, 
    117 P.3d 711
    , 717 (Alaska 2005) (holding that if out-of-state move
    by custodian or joint custodian requires modification of custody
    arrangement, modification must be in best interests of child);
    Ciesluk, supra, 113 P.3d at 137 (recognizing legislative
    elimination of presumption and applying best interests standard
    under Colorado law); Fredman v. Fredman, 
    960 So. 2d 52
    , 55-56
    (Fla. Dist. Ct. App.) (noting that legislature overruled court-
    created presumption in favor of primary residential parent’s
    relocation by enacting statute which provides that there is no
    presumption in favor of or against request to relocate), review
    denied, 
    968 So. 2d 556
     (2007), cert. denied, 
    552 U.S. 1243
    , 
    128 S. Ct. 1481
    , 
    170 L. Ed. 2d 297
     (2008); Bodne v. Bodne, 
    588 S.E.2d 728
    , 729 (Ga. 2003) (requiring courts to consider best
    interests of child and overruling presumption that custodial
    parent has prima facie right to retain custody); Fisher v.
    Fisher, 
    137 P.3d 355
    , 365 (Haw. 2006) (rejecting argument for
    “preference and priority” for “primary caretaker and stability
    in residential and educational arrangements” in favor of best
    interests standard); Bartosz v. Jones, 
    197 P.3d 310
    , 315 (Idaho
    2008) (“When a move would violate an existing custody
    arrangement, the parent seeking permission to relocate with the
    child has the burden of proving that the relocation is in the
    best interest of the child.”); In re Marriage of Whipp, 
    962 P.2d 1058
    , 1059 (Kan. 1998) (stating that for relocations that
    materially change circumstances to justify change in custody,
    court must determine whether change is in child’s best
    interests); Gray v. Gray, 
    65 So. 3d 1247
    , 1255 (La. 2011)
    (noting that La. Rev. Stat. § 9:355.1 to -.17 represents “policy
    determination that . . . parent seeking to relocate the
    principal residence of the child must prove not only that the
    request for relocation is made in good faith, but also that the
    relocation is in the best interest of the child”); Brasier v.
    Preble, 
    82 A.3d 841
    , 844-45 (Me. 2013) (holding that relocation
    that changes circumstances may require modification of custody
    arrangement in accordance with child’s best interests); Braun v.
    Headley, 
    750 A.2d 624
    , 636 (Md. Ct. Spec. App.) (applying best
    interests of child standard to relocation that materially
    changes circumstances), cert. denied, 
    755 A.2d 1139
     (Md. 2000),
    cert. denied, 
    531 U.S. 1191
    , 
    121 S. Ct. 1190
    , 
    149 L. Ed. 2d 106
    (2001); In re Marriage of Goldman, 
    748 N.W.2d 279
    , 288 (Minn.
    2008) (en banc) (Anderson, Paul H., J., dissenting) (noting that
    legislature amended Minn. Stat. § 518.175 and replaced
    “presumption in favor of the custodial parent” with best
    interests of child standard); Pasternak v. Pasternak, 
    467 S.W.3d 264
    , 269 (Mo. 2015) (en banc) (holding that under Mo. Rev. Stat.
                                   31
    expressly or implicitly favors the relocation decision of the
    
    parent with primary or majority-time custody; some but not all
    
    of those jurisdictions characterize that preference as a
    
    
    
    
    § 452.377, change in principal residence requires court to
    determine whether relocation is in good faith and best interests
    of child); In re Marriage of Robison, 
    53 P.3d 1279
    , 1283 (Mont.
    2002) (noting Montana legislature eliminated presumption in
    favor of primary caretaker in its best-interests-of-child
    statute, which applies to relocation determinations that warrant
    change in parenting plan); Schrag v. Spear, 
    858 N.W.2d 865
    , 874
    (Neb. 2015) (holding that custodial parent must demonstrate he
    or she has legitimate reason for leaving state and that it is in
    child’s best interests to continue living with him or her in new
    location); Jaramillo v. Jaramillo, 
    823 P.2d 299
    , 307-09 (N.M.
    1991) (rejecting use of presumptions and holding instead that
    custody arrangement must be modified to serve best interests of
    child if relocation changes circumstances); Tropea, supra, 665
    N.E.2d at 150 (rejecting presumptions and holding that
    relocation request must be considered in totality of
    circumstances “with predominant emphasis . . . placed on what
    outcome is most likely to serve the best interests of the
    child”); In re Marriage of Colson, 
    51 P.3d 607
    , 612-14 (Or. Ct.
    App. 2002) (noting that if move constitutes change of
    circumstances, modification to custody arrangement still
    requires showing that modification serves children’s best
    interests); Valkoun v. Frizzle, 
    973 A.2d 566
    , 576-77 (R.I. 2009)
    (stating that relocating custodial parent must prove legitimate,
    not necessarily compelling, reason to move, and relocation is in
    child’s best interests); Latimer v. Farmer, 
    602 S.E.2d 32
    , 34-35
    (S.C. 2004) (adopting best interests standard instead of
    previous presumption against relocation); Falanga v. Boylan, 
    123 A.3d 811
    , 814 (Vt. 2015) (stating that relocation that amounts
    to changed circumstances necessitates reexamination of child’s
    best interests); Wheeler v. Wheeler, 
    591 S.E.2d 698
    , 701 (Va.
    Ct. App. 2004) (requiring material change in circumstances and
    best interests of child to modify decree permitting custodial
    parent to relocate); Arnott v. Arnott, 
    293 P.3d 440
    , 457-58
    (Wyo. 2012) (overruling former presumption in favor of custodial
    parent and holding that relocation that results in change of
    circumstances warrants determination of proper custodial
    arrangement that is in best interests of child).
    
    
                                   32
    “presumption.”7   As experience has proven, the standard adopted
    
    in Baures did not represent a lasting trend in the law.
    
    
    
    
    7  See 43 Okla. Stat. § 112.3(K) (relocating person must prove
    relocation is in good faith and, if burden is met, then
    nonrelocating person must show relocation is not in best
    interest of child); Wis. Stat. § 767.481(3)(a)(2)(a) (“There is
    a rebuttable presumption that continuing the current allocation
    of decision making under a legal custody order or continuing the
    child’s physical placement with the parent with whom the child
    resides for the greater period of time is in the best interest
    of the child.”); Singletary v. Singletary, 
    431 S.W.3d 234
    , 239-
    40 (Ark. 2013) (recognizing presumption in favor of relocation
    for parents with sole or primary custody and noting that guiding
    principle in making relocation decision is best interests of
    child); In re Marriage of Hoffman, 
    867 N.W.2d 26
    , 33 (Iowa 2015)
    (conferring final authority on parent with physical care of
    child to decide location of child’s residence but noting that
    such authority “is not unlimited” and is “subject to judicial
    review based on . . . best interests of the child[]”); In re
    Heinrich & Curotto, 
    7 A.3d 1158
    , 1163 (N.H. 2010) (noting that
    under New Hampshire relocation statute, relocating parent has
    initial burden of demonstrating that relocation is for
    legitimate purpose and is reasonable and burden then shifts to
    opposing parent to prove relocation is not in child’s best
    interests); Brosnan v. Brosnan, 
    840 N.W.2d 240
    , 247 (S.D. 2013)
    (noting relocation statute provides that “parent entitled to the
    custody of a child has the right to change his residence,
    subject to the power of the circuit court to restrain a removal
    which would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child”);
    Aragon v. Aragon, 
    513 S.W.3d 447
    , 459-60 (Tenn. 2017)
    (interpreting Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-6-108 to provide that parent
    spending greater amount of time with child is permitted to
    relocate with child unless court finds move does not have
    reasonable purpose, move would pose threat of harm to child, or
    motive for move is vindictive); In re Marriage of Horner, 
    93 P.3d 124
    , 130 (Wash. 2004) (noting that relocation statute
    “establishes a rebuttable presumption that the relocation of the
    child will be allowed” (quoting Osborne v. Osborne (in re
    Osborne), 
    79 P.3d 465
    , 471 (Wash. Ct. App. 2003))); Storrie v.
    Simmons, 
    693 S.E.2d 70
    , 76 (W. Va. 2010) (per curiam)
    (authorizing relocation on showing that relocation that changes
    circumstances is in good faith, for a legitimate purpose, and to
    location that is reasonable in light of purpose).
                                    33
         Moreover, the threshold determination mandated by Baures
    
    may engender unnecessary disputes between parents over the
    
    designation of the parent of primary residence and accusations
    
    that a parent sought that designation in bad faith, anticipating
    
    a relocation.   Our custody statute clearly envisions that a
    
    custody arrangement will serve a paramount purpose:    the
    
    promotion of the child’s best interests.    N.J.S.A. 9:2-4.    The
    
    parties and the court should select the parent of primary
    
    residence based on that parent’s capacity to meet the needs of
    
    the child.   Ibid.   If a designation as the parent of primary
    
    residence will determine the result of a relocation dispute,
    
    parties may be motivated to contest that designation even if one
    
    parent is clearly in a better position to serve that primary
    
    role.   As this case illustrates, the advantage afforded to a
    
    parent of primary residence in a relocation conflict may raise
    
    divisive accusations of bad faith after custody negotiations
    
    conclude.    See Bisbing, supra, 445 N.J. Super. at 217; see also
    
    Shea, supra, 384 N.J. Super. at 271-72.    In short, by tethering
    
    the relocation standard to one party’s status as the parent of
    
    primary residence, the Baures standard may generate unnecessary
    
    disputes regarding that designation.
    
         Our decision to replace the Baures test with a best
    
    interests analysis is consonant with our opinion in Emma v.
    
    Evans, 
    215 N.J. 197
    , 216-23 (2013).    In Emma, we addressed the
    
                                     34
    standard applied when a parent seeks to change the child’s
    
    surname, and the other parent objects to the renaming of the
    
    child.   Ibid.   Prior to our opinion in Emma, courts applied a
    
    rebuttable presumption that “in contested cases the surname
    
    selected by the custodial parent -- the parent primarily charged
    
    with making custodial decisions in the child’s best interest --
    
    shall be presumed to be consistent with that child’s best
    
    interests.”   Gubernat v. Deremer, 
    140 N.J. 120
    , 123 (1995).      In
    
    Emma, supra, we abandoned that presumption in favor of a
    
    standard based on the best interests of the child, with the
    
    parents “on equal footing” in that inquiry.    215 N.J. at 221-22.
    
        Accordingly, we do not consider the Baures standard to be
    
    compelled by social science or grounded in legal authority
    
    today, as the Court anticipated that it would be when it decided
    
    that case.    We recognize a “special justification” in this case
    
    to abandon that standard.    See Luchejko, supra, 207 N.J. at 208-
    
    09; Pinto, supra, 200 N.J. at 598.
    
                                     D.
    
        In place of the Baures standard, courts should conduct a
    
    best interests analysis to determine “cause” under N.J.S.A. 9:2-
    
    2 in all contested relocation disputes in which the parents
    
    share legal custody -- whether the custody arrangement
    
    designates a parent of primary residence and a parent of
    
    alternate residence, or provides for equally shared custody.
    
                                     35
    That standard comports with our custody statute, in which the
    
    Legislature unequivocally declared that the rights of parents
    
    are to be equally respected in custody determinations and stated
    
    that custody arrangements must serve the best interests of the
    
    child.   N.J.S.A. 9:2-4.   A number of the statutory best
    
    interests factors will be directly relevant in typical
    
    relocation decisions and additional factors not set forth in the
    
    statute may also be considered in a given case.     Ibid.
    
        In the best interests analysis, the parent of primary
    
    residence may have important insights about the arrangement that
    
    will most effectively serve the child.     The parent of alternate
    
    residence may similarly offer significant information about the
    
    child.   The views of other adults with close relationships with
    
    the child may also inform the court’s decision.     See Emma,
    
    supra, 215 N.J. at 216-23 (holding that in best interests
    
    analysis regarding child’s name, court should consider both
    
    parents’ views and views of other adults close to child).       The
    
    trial court may consider other evidence, including documentary
    
    evidence, interviews with the children at the court’s
    
    discretion, and expert testimony.     See R. 5:8-6 (“As part of the
    
    custody hearing, the court may on its own motion or at the
    
    request of a litigant conduct an in camera interview with the
    
    child(ren).”); Pressler & Verniero, supra, comment 1.4.5 on R.
    
    5:8-6 (stating that in custody hearings, “[i]t is clear that the
    
                                     36
    parties must have an appropriate opportunity for experts’
    
    assistance”); Kinsella v. Kinsella, 
    150 N.J. 276
    , 318 (1997)
    
    (“In implementing the ‘best-interest-of-the child’ standard,
    
    courts rely heavily on the expertise of psychologists and other
    
    mental health professionals.”).
    
                                      E.
    
        We briefly address plaintiff’s contention, unsupported by
    
    citation to federal or state authority, that the Appellate
    
    Division’s application of N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 infringes on her due
    
    process right to travel out of state.
    
        We do not view N.J.S.A. 9:2-2’s constraints on a parent’s
    
    authority to relocate children living in the state to a
    
    different state, over the other parent’s objection, to infringe
    
    on the relocating parent’s constitutional right to interstate
    
    travel.   The United States Supreme Court has defined the right
    
    to travel as
    
              the right of a citizen of one State to enter
              and to leave another State, the right to be
              treated as a welcome visitor rather than an
              unfriendly alien when temporarily present in
              the second State, and, for those travelers who
              elect to become permanent residents, the right
              to be treated like other citizens of that
              State.
    
              [Saenz v. Roe, 
    526 U.S. 489
    , 500, 
    119 S. Ct. 1518
    , 1525, 
    143 L. Ed. 2d 689
    , 702 (1999); see
              also Mem’l Hosp. v. Maricopa County, 
    415 U.S. 250
    , 263, 
    94 S. Ct. 1076
    , 1085, 
    39 L. Ed. 2d 306
    , 318 (1974) (discussing right to travel).]
    
    
                                      37
        N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 does not infringe upon any of those rights.
    
    The statute places no constraint on plaintiff’s right to travel.
    
    It does, however, place a limitation on her claimed right to
    
    permanently relocate her children from our State without the
    
    court’s approval when another parent’s rights and the child’s
    
    best interests are at stake.
    
        As this Court noted in Holder, supra, in which we declined
    
    to reach a parent’s constitutional challenge to N.J.S.A. 9:2-2,
    
    “[s]hort of an adverse effect on the noncustodial parent’s
    
    visitation rights or other aspects of a child’s best interests,
    
    the custodial parent should enjoy the same freedom of movement
    
    as the noncustodial parent.”     111 N.J. at 352 (collecting
    
    cases).   The Constitution, however, “does not prohibit a state
    
    from imposing some legal consequences on a person’s entering or
    
    leaving the jurisdiction.”     Murnane v. Murnane, 
    229 N.J. Super. 520
    , 528 (App. Div. 1989) (citing Sosna v. Iowa, 
    419 U.S. 393
    ,
    
    
    95 S. Ct. 553
    , 
    42 L. Ed. 2d 532
     (1975); Starns v. Malkerson, 
    326 F. Supp. 234
     (D. Minn. 1970), aff’d, 
    401 U.S. 985
    , 
    91 S. Ct. 553
    , 
    42 L. Ed. 2d 527
     (1971)).    A court that has determined
    
    “custody on the assumption of residence within New Jersey so as
    
    to protect, among other things, the visitation rights of the
    
    noncustodial parent and the interest of the child in maintaining
    
    a close relationship with that parent” has the authority to
    
    constrain a parent from altering custody without violating that
    
                                      38
    parent’s due process right to travel.    Ibid.; see also Holder,
    
    supra, 111 N.J. at 352.
    
         Any limitation on plaintiff’s travel imposed by the trial
    
    court pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 would relate solely to her
    
    intention to move her children to Utah, a departure from the
    
    custody arrangement that the parties agreed upon and the court
    
    ordered.   Such a limitation would not violate plaintiff’s due
    
    process right to interstate travel.     Murnane, supra, 229 N.J.
    
    Super. at 528.
    
                                    V.
    
         Our holding compels a remand of this matter to the trial
    
    court for a plenary hearing to determine whether the custody
    
    arrangement set forth in the parties’ Agreement should be
    
    modified to permit the relocation of the parties’ daughters to
    
    Utah.
    
         We do not agree with defendant’s assertion that by
    
    consenting to the interstate relocation provision of the
    
    parties’ Agreement, plaintiff waived her right to a judicial
    
    determination of her relocation application under N.J.S.A. 9:2-
    
    2.   That Agreement, however, is significant to the court’s
    
    determination on remand.   Because the custody arrangement was
    
    agreed to and incorporated in the trial court’s judgment,
    
    plaintiff is required to demonstrate changed circumstances to
    
    
    
                                    39
    justify its modification.   Quinn v. Quinn, 
    225 N.J. 34
    , 48-49
    
    (2016); Lepis, supra, 83 N.J. at 147.
    
        In addition, because the modification of custody sought by
    
    plaintiff is a permanent relocation governed by N.J.S.A. 9:2-2,
    
    plaintiff must demonstrate that there is “cause” for an order
    
    authorizing such relocation.   In that inquiry, “cause” should be
    
    determined by a best interests analysis in which the court will
    
    consider all relevant factors set forth in N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(c),
    
    supplemented by other factors as appropriate.   On remand, the
    
    court should consider, under that analysis, the parties’
    
    Agreement, in which the parties acknowledged that they equally
    
    provide their daughters’ “quality of life and style of life,”
    
    and “acknowledge[d] a direct causal connection between the
    
    frequency and duration” of their children’s contact with both
    
    parents, and “the quality of the relationship” between the
    
    children and each parent.   The trial court should also consider
    
    other evidence presented by the parties.
    
        Because the best interests standard applies to the
    
    determination of “cause” under N.J.S.A. 9:2-2 notwithstanding
    
    plaintiff’s designation as the parent of primary residence, the
    
    question whether plaintiff anticipated a relocation when she
    
    negotiated for that designation does not determine the governing
    
    standard.   In the remand hearing, the court need not decide
    
    
    
                                    40
    whether plaintiff negotiated the parties’ Agreement in bad
    
    faith.
    
                                   VI.
    
        The judgment of the Appellate Division is modified and
    
    affirmed, and the matter is remanded to the trial court for
    
    proceedings in accordance with this opinion.
    
    
    
         CHIEF JUSTICE RABNER and JUSTICES LaVECCHIA, ALBIN,
    FERNANDEZ-VINA, SOLOMON, and TIMPONE join in JUSTICE PATTERSON’s
    opinion.
    
    
    
    
                                   41