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Can I relocate with my child after my separation?

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2021 | Child Custody

Following a divorce or dissolution of a relationship in Pennsylvania, a child custody plan will be established. Oftentimes one parent will have physical custody of the child and the other parent will have visitation rights, while other times parents share joint physical custody. These arrangements may work fine for a while, but the time may come where one parent wants to move with the child to another part of Pennsylvania or even to another state. The following is an overview of what is required when a parent wants to relocate with a child.

How does Pennsylvania law define relocation?

Under Pennsylvania law, relocation is defined as a change in where the child lives that significantly impairs the non-relocating parent’s ability to exercise their custodial rights. Pennsylvania relocation laws are unique in that they do not apply only to out-of-state relocations or are limited to relocations that go beyond a specific mile radius.

What is required to relocate with your child?

Under Pennsylvania law, relocation is not possible unless both parents consent to the relocation or the judge approves the move. In addition, the relocating parent needs to notify the child’s other parent of their intention to move. Notification must be sent by certified mail with return receipt requested either 60 days or more before the date of the proposed move or 10 days after the relocating parent knows about the relocation but could not reasonably have known of the move in enough time to meet the 60-day notification requirement and it is not reasonably feasible to delay the move to meet the 60-day notification requirement.

What needs to be included in the notice of relocation?

There are certain pieces of information that must be included in a notice of relocation. The notice must include the intended new address of the relocating parent. The notice must also include the name and ages of those who will be living in the intended new residence. The home phone number of the intended new resident must also be included. The notice must also contain the name of the child’s school district and new school should they relocate. The date of the proposed relocation must be included along with the reason why the relocating parent wants to move. The notice should also include a proposed new custody schedule should the relocation occur. Finally, the notice should contain any other appropriate information.

In addition, a “counter-affidavit” should be included that allows the non-relocating parent to object to the proposed relocation. The notice should also provide the non-relocating parent with a warning that if an objection is not filed within 30 days after they receive the notification, they lose their right to object to the relocation.

Learn more about relocation requirements in Pennsylvania

Ultimately, this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on relocation may be of interest to those who want to learn more about this topic.