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Planning to Relocate? Think again.

In January of 2011, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a law which applies to disputes relating to child custody.

Part of the new statute sets forth requirements which must be followed if a parent is planning to “relocate” with a minor child or children. 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. What kind of move by a custodial parent “significantly impairs” the ability of a non relocating party to exercise custodial rights? The answer to that question often lies in the details of the case, but what is clear is that the statute applies to much more than the obvious case of moving several states away. Moves even within the same county can “significantly impair” custodial rights.

The statute sets forth a rather burdensome and cumbersome process the relocating parent must follow to comply with the statute including certain kinds of specific notices to the other party, proposals for custody, and information about the proposed new residential location.

Our attorneys routinely handle custody cases, but none of those cases are routine themselves, particularly when it comes to your children. If you are planning a relocation, see a family lawyer well in advance of making any commitment such as accepting a new job or buying or leasing property. You may spare yourself a lot of headaches.