Can I Move Away With My Child?

If a parent wants to relocate with their child in Pennsylvania, they need to follow strict rules. Under Pennsylvania law, a parent cannot relocate unless the other parent consents or the court approves first. At the Law Offices of Maribeth Blessing, LLC, we have been representing parents during custody matters for more than 20 years. Our lawyers understand the stress and concern involved during a potential move. We will make sure you know the legal rules you must follow when attempting to relocate or stop a relocation, and work with you to modify custody orders, if necessary, to accommodate the relocation.

Relocating With Your Child

In order to get consent from your child's other parent, you must give them "notice" – this doesn't mean simply telling them during a drop-off or pick-up. This means you need to send them written notice, by certified mail, at least 60 days before you are to move, or less than 10 days after you know you will be moving. If you know it, you must include your new address, the names and ages of everyone who will be living at your new home, the name of the school district and your new home telephone number (if it will change). You must include the date you plan to move and the reasons you are relocating, as well as the new proposed custody agreement. If you do not know this information, you must provide it when it becomes known.

In addition, you must include a counter-affidavit and let the other parent know that if he/she wishes to object, they must do so within 30 days of the notice.

Objecting To A Move

There are also specific rules for parents who want to prevent the relocation of their children.

After receiving notice of an upcoming move, you have 30 days to file your objection with the court in a form of a counteraffidavit. You will need to specify whether you object to the move itself, or the modified custody plan proposed by the other parent. A hearing will then be held to determine if the relocation is in the best interests of the children.

When evaluating the best interests of the children in a relocation case, 10 additional factors are evaluated that include items such as the quality and involvement of the non-relocating parent with the child, the ability to preserve the relationship between the child and non-relocating parent, whether moving will increase the quality of life of the relocating parent, and other factors involving the child's safety and physical and emotional well-being.

If the court allows the relocation, it will modify the custody order to take into consideration the move.

Contact Attorney Maribeth Blessing

If you want to move away with your child, or prevent your child from relocating, contact our firm. Call us at 215-392-0849 or 866-603-8691 or contact us online to learn more about the legal process. Our office is located in Rockledge, in Montgomery County.