Pennsylvania has specific laws when it comes to dealing with a parent who wishes to relocate with their child.
- “Relocation” is defined as “a change in residence of the child which significantly impairs the ability of a non-relocating party to exercise custodial rights.”
- No relocation shall occur unless every individual who has custody rights to the child consents to the proposed relocation, or the court approves it.
- The party proposing the relocation is required to notify in advance, every other individual who has custodial rights to the child of the proposed relocation.
- A party entitled to receive notice may file an objection with the court and seek a temporary or permanent order to prevent the relocation.
- If a party relocates with the child without consent or court approval, the court shall not confer any presumption in favor of the relocation.
- In determining whether to grant a proposed relocation, the court must consider 10 factors, giving weighted consideration to those factors which affect the safety of the child.
- The party proposing the relocation has the burden of establishing that the relocation will serve the best interests of the child.
- Each party has the burden of establishing the integrity of that party’s motives in either seeking the relocation or seeking to prevent the relocation.
- Relocation cases are handled on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration all of the factors that may legitimately affect the physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual well-being of the child.