What does a parent have to do if they want to relocate to another state?
This new statute of custody has a very stringent relocation provision that the parent who wants to relocate to another state must know, in writing, give advance notice to the parent who’s not relocating and tell them, “I plan to move,” and where they plan to move to, when they plan to move, where the child will be attending school if they do move. There’s a very specific provision as to the information you must give. Then the parent who’s not moving has the burden or the choice of saying, “Okay, I’m okay with that move” or saying, “No, I’m not okay with that move.”
If the parent who’s not relocating is against the move they then have to provide, in writing, that they do not agree to the relocation. Then the parent who wants to relocate to another state must file an action with the court asking permission to allow them to move. If they move without that permission, the courts can easily mandate that the child come back to Pennsylvania or come back to the home county, and will not hesitate to do so. They can’t mandate that the person come back or the parent come back, but they can mandate that the child come back. Years ago we would always say to a client “Well, do you think the other side’s going to object? And how much are they going to object?” and then caution them accordingly. But now the advice is “no, you cannot move unless the other parent agrees or the court gives you permission to go”.
David L. Ladov is a partner and co-chair of the Family Law Group at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP. He focuses his practice on divorce, including custody, child support, equitable distribution, abuse and domestic relations. David can be reached at (267) 675-4976 or [email protected].
Robert Whitelaw is a managing partner and co-chairman of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP’s Litigation Department and Family Law Group. He has 40 years of experience in practicing family law. Robert can be reached at [email protected] or (215) 665-300.