It’s no news that child custody cases are quite challenging and emotionally demanding for all the parties involved. Making arrangements for visitations can be somewhat tasking, especially when there’s a current issue between the divorced parents. It’s muddy water for which you require the attention of child custody lawyers in Media, PA, to navigate successfully.
A significant aspect of child custody, where many parents often resort to legal tussle, is relocation. Co-parenting already poses its challenges, even when the other parent lives very close; many people only consent to it because they’ve got no choice as it usually comes in the form of a court order.
Even when there may be viable reasons to do so, talks of relocation by one parent are usually met with resistance by the other. It feels like the former is threatening their relationship with their child or children. The case often ends up in a court of law, with a judge having to make tough decisions on whether to grant a relocation request or not.
Relocation in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s Child Custody Act defines relocation (moving from one place to another) as changing the child’s residence such that it significantly hindersthe non-relocating party to from exercisingtheir right to custody. According to the Act, the relocating parent must provide a formal notice to the unmoving one. If a relocation occurs without the moving parent providing information to that effect and approved by the court, they must return the child and face strict sanctions.
Relocation is an ambiguous concept that the custody process quite challenging to navigate, especially without child custody lawyers in Media PA.
What You Need to Know about Child Custody Relocation in PA
Due to the broad nature of the law affecting child custody relocation issues in Pa, it’s essential that divorcing parents take their time to get acquainted with the law. The law is highly crucial for any parent making relocation moves.
With the child custody statute amended in 2011, it’s pertinent for you to know about this law, whether the proposed relocation has to do with migrating to a different country, state, or county. The provisions of the PA child custody relocation law include;
1. A Notice Requirement for Relocation
The law requires that the party making the relocation moves must serve the other party with notice of their intent to move. Under this legislation, the party seeking relocation must provide a written legal document to every individual with custody rights to the child, requesting a return receipt attached.
Further, the notice’s delivery must take place not less than 60 days before the proposed move date. It’s also acceptable to serve the legal document on or before the 10th day after the non-moving party becomes aware of the action.
The notice must also contain sufficient information about the residence, including the new address, phone number, name of the new school and district. It must also include valid reasons for the proposed relocation and a proposal for the custody schedule. You must also insert an affidavit, warning the non-relocating parent of their tendency to lose the right to object to the move if they don’t file an objection within 30 days of receiving the notice.
2. Factors that Determine a Party’s Right to Relocate
If a non-moving party opposes the move, there shall be a court hearing to determine how beneficial or otherwise the relocation is. During the hearing, both parties will be able to establish the integrity of the proposal or objection. Besides the best interests of the child, other factors the court consider during a relocation hearing include;
- The child’s preference.
- How feasible it is to maintain the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent.
- Socio-economic needs of the child.
- Impact of the relocation on the child.
PA child custody and relocation law begs strict adherence to its requirements and framework. To accurately interpret the legal terms and avoid erring, consider seeking the services of child custody lawyers in Media, PA.