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What is the impact of relocation in child custody?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | Child Custody

Moving to a new home can be a complex and emotional process, especially when children are involved. Relocating could also significantly affect existing child custody arrangements.

This blog post will guide you through the key aspects of relocation and its impact on child custody.

State law on relocation

According to Pennsylvania law, relocation is defined as “a change in a residence of the child which significantly impairs the ability of a non-relocating party to exercise custodial rights.” This could be a move across the state, to a neighboring state or even overseas.

The law also states that no relocation can occur unless the co-parents with custodial rights consent to the relocation and the court approves it.

Relocation notice requirements

Before relocating, the custodial parent must provide written notice to the non-custodial parent. The notice must include:

  • The address of the intended new residence
  • The mailing address, if different from the residence address
  • The home telephone number, if available
  • The names and ages of all persons living in the new residence
  • The date of the proposed relocation
  • A statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation
  • A proposal for a revised custody schedule

The moving parent must give their notice to the other parent either by the 60th day before the date of the proposed relocation or by the tenth day the other parent learns of the relocation.

Objecting to a relocation

If the non-custodial parent objects to the relocation, they must file a counter-affidavit or a petition to modify custody. The court will then hold a hearing to decide whether the relocation is in the best interest of the child.

A parent who decides to relocate can significantly impact existing child custody arrangements. The legal process involves numerous steps and considerations. It’s essential to navigate these complexities with care to ensure the best outcome for all parties involved, particularly the child.

Whether you’re the moving or the non-relocating parent, you might need guidance for something so complicated. A legal professional may be able to provide valuable advice, prepare necessary documents and negotiate with the other party. Should the case head to court, an attorney may be able to present your case in court, if needed.