Like others in Pennsylvania who have gotten divorced before you, you may eventually find yourself wanting to move in order to pursue a new job opportunity, to be closer to family or friends, or just to achieve a fresh start. If you have kids and an existing custody order, however, there is more to making this decision than just finding a new place and packing up. You may require permission from your child’s other parent or the court.

According to Title 23, Section 5337 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, to relocate with your child, everyone who has custody rights for him or her must consent, or your request to move must be approved by the court. In order to gain consent, you are required to send notice of your intentions to your child’s other parent via certified mail. This must be sent at least 60 days before your proposed move. Among other pertinent details, your relocation notice should include your new address, the names and ages of all those who will be living in the new residence, information regarding your child’s new school and a proposal for a revised visitation schedule.

If there is no objection, you may file an affidavit with the court indicating that everyone has consented and provided proof that the appropriate notice was provided. You must also file a petition with the court to have your relocation and modified custody order confirmed.

Should your child’s other parent object to the move, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether to grant your request. In making its decision, the court considers a number of factors including your existing parent-child relationship, your child’s age and developmental stage, whether you can feasibly preserve your child’s relationship with the nonrelocating parent, how your life and that of your child will be enhanced by the relocation, and your child’s preferences. If the court finds it is in the best interests of you and your child, it may see fit to modify your custody order and approve your move.

The information in this post is meant only for general purposes and it should not be considered legal advice.