January 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Relocating After a Child Custody Case in Pennsylvania
Divorce brings many changes to people's lives. People often find it makes more sense for them to relocate after a divorce, whether it is for a new job opportunity, to be closer to family or because of financial constraints. Moving can become a complicated issue when there are children involved and the court has issued a custody and visitation order along with the divorce decree, however.
Pennsylvania passed a law in 2011 creating a procedure that custodial parents wishing to move with their children need to follow in order to obtain court approval for the move. Pennsylvania parents should be aware of this process for relocating after the court has issued a custody order.
Notice to the Other Parent
The new law defines "relocation" broadly. According to the statute, relocation is "a change in a residence of the child which significantly impairs the ability of a non-relocating party to exercise custodial rights." Relocation does not have to be out of the state.
The parent intending to move must give all parties who have custodial rights to the child 60 days' notice of the proposed move, unless extraordinary circumstances do not allow for 60 days' notice. The notice must include:
-The address of the new residence
-The phone number of the new residence
-The names and ages of all of the people who are going to live in the new residence
-The name of the new school district and school
-The date of the proposed move
-The reasons for the move
-A proposed modified visitation schedule
-A counter-affidavit that the party may use to oppose the move
-Notice that the party has 30 days to oppose the move
Objection by the Other Parent
Unless the other parent files the counter-affidavit objecting to the move within the 30-day period, the court will assume that the parent has consented to the relocation. The court will not hear any subsequently filed petitions challenging the move.
Conversely, the other parent may file the counter-affidavit noting approval of the proposed move.
Court Approval of Relocation
If the other parent does not object to the move within 30 days or approves of the move, then the relocating parent need only file certain forms to obtain court approval for the relocation; no hearing is necessary. However, if the other parent objects to either the move or the proposed visitation schedule, the court will hold a full hearing.
The court will assess whether the move is in the child's best interest and whether the benefits to the child resulting from the move outweigh any potential detriment to the parent-child relationship between the non-relocating parent and the child.
Child custody issues can be complex, emotionally-charged affairs. Parents should not try and navigate these matters without trained legal assistance. If you have questions about child custody and relocation, speak with a seasoned family law attorney who can offer you guidance.
Article provided by Masorti & Donaldson, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.fathersmatterpa.com/---
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