Can a custodial parent relocate with the child?

Pennsylvania law requires a custodial parent to follow a few guidelines before relocating with a child out-of-state. Family law states that the custodial parent, whether an order is in place or not, must get either the consent of the other parent or approval from the courts. Regardless of consent, the court must be notified of the pending relocation to ensure there are no legal ramifications.

Before a relocation order can be signed, the non-custodial parent must be given information about the move and the time to object if they so desire. A notification must be sent to the non-custodial party at least 60 days prior to the move. This notification has to include vital information such as the new address, date of relocation, and names of any person that will be living in the same house as the child. The proper objection form must also be included to give the non-custodial parent the ability to challenge the move.

The court has to sign off on the relocation whether the non-custodial parent agrees with the move or not. If the parent doesn’t object, then the court will usually agree to the relocation and sign the order. However, if there is a disagreement, then a hearing will be held to determine what is in the best interest of the child.

This type of family law situation is relatively common. The courts will make a decision based on several factors that always focus on what is best for the child. These factors include the effect of the move on the child, the reasons for the move, and the relationship between the child and both parents. The court will also take the objections of the non-custodial parent into account.

Source: Pennsylvania Bar Association , “Child Custody “, October 18, 2014

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