Philadelphia Child Relocation Lawyer
There are multiple arrangements available under Pennsylvania child custody laws and, once the judge enters an order on the matter, it is legally binding upon both parents. The custody and visitation plan covers routine matters, such as where the child spends time weekly and monthly. Plus, the order will also dictate how parents allocate decisions on raising the child. As such, any of these matters could be disrupted if one parent seeks to relocate, whether across town, out of state, or to another country.
Such a scenario triggers state laws on child relocation, and there are strict limitations on moving when it affects a parent’s custodial rights. Our team at the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane can help you navigate the complexities on either side of the relocation question. Please contact us to schedule a consultation with a Philadelphia child relocation lawyer. You might also benefit from reviewing some background about the legal concepts.
Legal Definition of Relocation
You certainly grasp the common meaning of relocation, but the term has a very specific definition in Pennsylvania family law. The legal standard refers to any change in residence that would significantly impair the non-moving parent’s ability to exercise custodial rights. The rights to child custody include access and visitation, but also co-parenting and decision-making authority.
This definition creates a substantial gray area in terms of what constitutes a relocation, which is why these cases are extremely complex. A move hundreds of miles away or out of Pennsylvania would certainly qualify, but a relocation within an hour or so might not – if the new arrangement does not disrupt the other parent’s rights.
In addition, always keep in mind that Pennsylvania’s law on the child’s best interests impacts decisions on relocation.
Requirements for Child Relocation
If you are contemplating a move that qualifies as relocation, you must go through the proper steps to remain in compliance with the law. Even if you are not sure, it might be wise to err on the side of caution. A Pennsylvania child relocation attorney will assist with the process, which works as follows:
A parent cannot legally move without providing formal notice to the other within 60 days of the intended relocation. In situations where the party was forced to move under urgent circumstances, it may be sufficient to provide this notice 10 days beforehand.
The notice must include details on the date, new address, residents at the new location, information regarding schools, and others. Importantly, the relocating party must provide a proposed modification to the custody and visitation schedule.
The non-moving parent has 30 days to consent or object to the child relocation. The court will hold a contested hearing on the matter when there are disputes.
Serious Consequences for Unlawful Relocations
A court order is like a private law that applies to parents, so it is akin to breaking the law if one unilaterally moves and changes the terms of custody. The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane will enforce your rights if your child’s other parent relocates without meeting the legal criteria. If you are accused of moving unlawfully, we will help avoid potential penalties and get your case back on track.
Call Now to Speak to a Philadelphia Child Relocation Lawyer
Whether you are the parent who seeks to move or wants the status quo to remain in effect, legal counsel is critical. The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane represents parents on both sides of the issues, so you can feel confident that we will protect your rights. Please contact us to set up a case evaluation with a Pennsylvania child relocation lawyer who will explain how the process works.