As Pennsylvania couples move through divorce proceedings, one of the most important things to consider is where the children will live. Many want to protect their children from unnecessary stress or anxiety and create a parenting plan that works for both parties. Over time, this plan may change, and one parent may want to move to another state. The requirements for doing this are different for every state.
Most custody orders are set by the guidelines in The Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. In Pennsylvania, the state grants custodial and non-custodial parents the same rights when one wants to move out of state. The catch is that both parents must agree to the move. One parent cannot move the children to another state without first receiving approval and agreement from the non-custodial parent.
The parent who wants to move does have the option of petitioning the court for a relocation custody trial. The parent should file the paperwork and keep proof that it was sent. It is required that 60 days notice is given before the parent moves and if the non-custodial parent does not step forward with a complaint within 30 days, they lose the right to object to the move. If the non-custodial parent wants to stop the relocation, they have the option to file an objection and send the case to a trial.
The process can take several months, and the moving parent must provide documentation, witnesses and proof that the move will benefit the children and the parent. The move must be requested for sensible reasons such as a new job. Parents cannot relocate for non-sensible reasons, such as wanting to be in a warmer climate.
This information is intended to be educational and should not be interpreted as legal advice.