Parents who are planning to move must be aware that moving with children is no longer simple in Pennsylvania. As of January 2011, Pennsylvania has a new custody law involving relocation. While there has yet to be a firm answer, most courts are applying the new law to all parents- even parents who have never been the subject of a custody order.
This new law says that if you are planning on moving and that move may affect the other parents custody rights, you must provide at least 60 days written notice to the other parent. The new statute even has a proposed form to be sent to the other parent. After sending that form, the other parent has 30 days to file objections. After receiving objections, a court is required to promptly hold a hearing. The Court can rewrite the entire custody situation at this hearing if necessary.
If a parent fails to follow the new relocation procedures, a Court could reduce or even eliminate custody rights.
It is also important for a parent to get written consent even in a situation where the other party agreed. I have one client who received verbal consent from the child’s father, moved away, only for the child’s father to revoke the consent weeks later. The Court forced my client to move back to the area.
It is currently unclear under the law as to how much of a move is required to trigger the relocation law. Does moving a half-mile away trigger the relocation law? Judges do not agree. Some say yes, some say no, some will address the issue on a case by case basis. It is best to file a relocation proposal in every move to present problems later.
The attorneys of Prince Law Offices are experienced in this new area of custody law and are happy to guide you through the process.