Berman & Asbel, LLP

Don't Let Relocation Jeopardize Your Parental Rights

When couples break up and go their separate ways, some decide to move far away. A person might move to a different city, state or even country when no longer involved with their partner.

However, this may not be an option - or not an easy option, anyway - if you share children with your ex. Whether you were married or not, you and your ex will need to create or adjust a custody plan to reflect relocation. If you do not, your parental rights and your child's safety could be in danger.

If you want to move away

You might need to move for work, to pursue a new relationship or just to change things up. Whatever the reason may be, you should notify the other parent sooner, rather than later. According to state laws, notification must be given in writing at least 60 days before the proposed move. (There are exceptions if it is not possible to comply with the 60-day requirement.)

If your ex wants to move away

Rest assured that legally, your ex cannot just move away without notifying you if you both have custody rights to your child. Laws require a parent seeking relocation to secure permission from you and/or the courts before moving.

If you object to the move

You can temporarily or permanently prevent relocation by filing an objection with the court. You will need to note if you object to the move and/or the modification of custody resulting from the move. There will then be a hearing where the court will either approve or reject the relocation request.

Whether you are the relocating or non-relocating parent, there are specific steps you must take to protect your rights and comply with Pennsylvania laws. If you fail to do so, you could wind up facing severe consequences, including loss of parenting time, and possibly even criminal charges. Because of this, it is crucial for parents with custodial rights to consult an attorney prior to any relocation.

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