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Steps to take before moving with children

In a custody matter, court approval or permission of the parent is required prior to a relocation. A relocation is defined as any move that will substantially interfere with the custodial rights of the other parent. The specific details of your existing custody schedule are relevant in determining if any contemplated move would cause a substantial interference. Moving to a different school district is not necessarily a relocation though it triggers legal custody issues. Similarly, moving to a different state may not necessarily count as a relocation. 23 Pa CS 5337 lays out the specific procedures to be followed in the event of a proposed relocation which will interrupt the existing arrangements. First, the party seeking relocation should give 60 days notice to the other parent by certified mail, return receipt requested. If not possible to give 60 days notice, notice should be given within 10 days of becoming aware of the relocation.

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The notice of relocation should include as much information as possible regarding the new address including names and ages of individuals who will be residing there, home telephone number, name of new school district and school, and date of proposed relocation. A counter-affidavit should also be supplied with the notice giving the other party the opportunity to object to the relocation. If notice is properly given and no objection is received, it is presumed the other parent consents to the relocation. The party seeking relocation would simply need to file a petition for confirmation of relocation. If the other parent objects, a hearing would need to be held prior to the relocation where the court would consider if the relocation will serve the best interest of the children.

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