When a child is being raised by divorced or separated parents, the reality of the situation is that one of the parents may want to move while the child is a minor. Pennsylvania’s Child Custody Law was modified in January 2011, and now provides specific steps that the parent requesting the relocation must follow prior to relocating, when the relocation would substantially interfere with the other parent’s custodial rights.
There are only two ways the relocation can occur:
- each person with a custodial right to the child must agree to the proposed relocation, or
- the Court must approve the relocation.
Pennsylvania’s Child Custody Law requires that the parent desiring the relocation must inform (in writing, certified mail, return receipt requested) every individual with a custody right to the child of the proposed relocation at least 60 days before the proposed move date (with very few exceptions).
The notice must include a detailed list of information pertaining to the proposed new residence and school district, and also must include the date of the proposed relocation, detailed information on household members, why the relocation is desired, and a proposed custody order.
After receiving notice of the proposed relocation, the non-moving parties can either agree or object to the proposed relocation by filing an objection (called a ‘Counter-Affidavit’) with the Court within thirty days of receiving notice of the proposed relocation. Failure to object can result in a waiver of certain rights.
If an objection is filed, a hearing will be held where the court will consider several factors related to the best interest of the child.
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