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Philadelphia Family Lawyer > Blog > Child Custody > What You Need to Know About Child Custody Relocation

What You Need to Know About Child Custody Relocation


Pennsylvania residents with a child custody order in place and who are considering moving need to be aware of Pennsylvania law. The matter is not as simple as packing up and moving. Whether you are considering moving to a new state or another county in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania’s relocation statute establishes several requirements that must be met before you pack up and leave. In this article, the Philadelphia child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane will discuss relocation with a child custody order in place.

What constitutes relocation in Pennsylvania? 

According to 23 PA.C.S. §5322, relocation is defined as a “change in residence of the child which significantly impairs the ability of a nonrelocating party to exercise custodial rights.” In other words, when one parent moves in such a way as to deny the other parent access to the children, the court can intervene on the other parent’s behalf. The law does not establish a specific distance that constitutes relocation per se, but any move that would make it difficult for the other parent is considered relocation under the law. The court will make a determination as to whether or not the move significantly impacts the custody rights of the other parent.

23 PA.C.S. §5337 requires that a moving parent either obtain the consent of the non-moving parent or receive court approval before moving with a minor child.

The consent of the other parent 

Pennsylvania’s relocation statute requires that a parent with residential custody of a minor child first notify the other parent of their intent to move. The notice is required to be sent via certified mail with a return receipt requested. It should include the following information:

  • The names of any people living at the new residence
  • Date of the proposed move
  • Modification proposal for a new custody schedule
  • New address
  • New contact number
  • New school district
  • Reasons for the move

The notice must be issued 60 days prior to the date of the intended move or within 10 days after the date when the moving parent schedules the relocation when the parent cannot have reasonably complied with the 60-day requirement.

The courts require that you provide the other parent with proper notice that you intend to relocate your children. Failure to provide the parent with proper notice can be held against you and your case. The court could consider attempting to relocate the child without the other parent’s consent as a factor in making a determination as to where the children should live. It can also consider the failure a reason to deny your relocation request. In addition, the court could find you in contempt of court and impose sanctions or order you to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees.

Talk to a Philadelphia Child Custody Lawyer Today 

The Philadelphia child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane represent the interests of parents who need to relocate in Pennsylvania. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can discuss how to properly address the matter of relocation.

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