Moving Out of State When You Have a PA Child Custody Order
Custody law is, unfortunately, one of the most difficult practices due to the emotionally charged nature of custody battles. One specific issue that rarely has a happy ending is parental relocation. In most cases, the court permits it, and he or she will be able to start over elsewhere. However, the other parent may lose touch with his or her children, or hardly ever get to see the kids, depending on how far the custodial parent chooses to move.
In Pennsylvania, custodial parents, as well as noncustodial parents, are granted equal rights in the event that either parent wants to relocate out of the state and take the children with them. However, the condition is that both parents must be in agreement of the relocation, or that the relocation will not be approved. To initiate this process, the custodial parent must serve the other parent with an official notice. They need to do this via certified mail, return receipt requested.
The custodial parent is also required to give a notice of 60 days in advance if they are planning on moving. However, some exceptions will exist. On the other hand, if the noncustodial parent does not take action within 30 days of receiving the notice, they basically forfeit their right to prevent the relocation. However, if they are not in agreement with the relocation, they can file an objection within 30 days at the court of law. Thereafter, a trial will be scheduled.
As far as legal criteria is concerned, if the situation goes to trial, it is rarely ends in one day. It is a long and drawn out affair because each parent is given the opportunity to present his or her case, along with documentation and witnesses to support it. Ultimately, the custodial parent has the responsibility to prove exactly how it will benefit both themselves and the children. The benefit must be sensible and within reason. His or her motivation to move cannot be based on any factor, opportunity or benefits that he or she can already enjoy while living in his or her current location. There must be something very unique about the location he or she is planning on moving to. The custodial parent also has the burden of showing the court exactly how the non custodial parent will be able to remain in contact with the children even after the move.
In Pennsylvania, although court cannot prevent a parent from relocating, it can rule that the children must be left behind. In the event that this happens and a judge denies a custodial parent’s request to relocate, the custodial parent then has a decision of whether he or she will remain in Pennsylvania and maintain custody of his or her children, or choose to relocate and relinquish custody to the other parent. However, if the custodial parent chooses the latter option and decides to relocate, the court will then grant custody to the other parent. This will be done by issuing a new custody order, so get a Pittsburgh child custody lawyer to assist you.