Montgomery County Custody Relocations Lawyer
There are seven different ways a Pennsylvania judge can award custody. Once there is a custody order in place, parents will need to refer to the custody agreement and visitation plan as provided. This plan will dictate when the children will be with each parent. But, what happens if the custodial parent needs to move far away? It could be in another state for work. How far away of a move qualifies as relocation under Pennsylvania’s custody laws? A relocation move requires the consent of the other parent or court approval. A Montgomery County custody relocations lawyer can help you in this situation. Attorney Lauren H. Kane has nearly four decades of experience with family law matters and can represent you in a Montgomery County divorce, child custody dispute, or a parental relocation request.
How Does Pennsylvania Law Define Custody Relations?
Pennsylvania’s child custody laws define relocation as “a change in a residence of the child which significantly impairs the ability of a non-relocating party to exercise their custodial rights.” Family court judges have to look at the effect that a potential move would have on the non-custodial parent’s ability to co-parent, as well as share custody and have visitation rights. For example, would the non-custodial parent have the ability to attend school functions, accompany their child to doctors’ appointments, watch or participate in their extracurricular activities, etc.?
If the move qualifies as a relocation, then the custodial parent does. Not have the right to move without taking the proper steps. To start, the custodial parent must provide formal notice to the other parent of their intention to move. They must give notice within the 60 days of the proposed move in most cases. If there is no way the custodial parent could’ve known about the move within 60 days nor can they delay the movie, then the parent can give notice within ten days of learning about the move. One example would be when the custodial parent has an emergency job transfer; they were notified last minute.
The notice needs to detail more than the fact that the custodial parent plans to move. It must include the new address and phone number, the names of anyone else living at the new address, the name of the school district and school, plus a proposed revised custody schedule. There should also be a counter-affidavit in case the non-custodial parent plans to object to the potential move, and a warning that their objection must be filed within 30 days.
If the non-custodial parent files their objection, the court will schedule a formal hearing. There will be legal arguments, relevant evidence presented, and witness testimony. The moving parent has the burden to show the move is in the child’s best interests. There needs to be a plan included on how the children will still contact the non-custodial parent.
What Happens If You Move Without Notice?
If your move doesn’t qualify as a relocation, then you can move without providing notice. If you are concerned and have any doubts, you can always give formal notice just to be sure. Failure to give notice in a relocation move means you could lose your custodial rights.
Contact a Montgomery County Custody Relations Attorney
To learn more about what an attorney can do for you with a relocation move, contact the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane today. We can explain your rights, options, and advice on how best to proceed.