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Relocation of custodial parents

A Philadelphia resident may relocate to a different city or even a different state or country because of a new job or a job transfer. In the event that the person has primary custody of the children, the situation may become complicated due to child custody and the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent. In fact, the non-custodial parent may be very upset about not being able to visit the children as frequently or easily as before.

The relocation of the custodial parent often becomes limited due to custodial issues. In most cases, the custodial parent or guardian is required to get the necessary approval for relocation from the non-custodial parent. In cases where the non-custodial parent is unwilling to agree to the custodial parent's relocation with the minor child, the custodial parent may petition the court to get an order to approve the relocation. At this stage, both the custodial parent, as well as the non-custodial parent, often seeks professional legal help and advice.

To get approval from the non-custodial parent for the relocation, the custodial parent must send a notice by registered mail informing the non-custodial parent about the proposed relocation with the child at least 60 days before the relocation. A counter-affidavit also must be provided along with the notification. Such documents may help the non-custodial parent to reconsider giving consent or opposing the relocation.

Notification and approval from the non-custodial parent or a relocation order from the court is mandatory. Failing to do so may come with severe consequences for the custodial parent who wishes to relocate. In a case where the custodial parent relocates with the minor child without approval, the court may find the custodial parent in violation of the court order and may rescind the custody of the child or impose heavy fines.

Source: Pennsylvania General Assembly, "Relocation", accessed April 9, 2015

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