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3 strategic tips for a relocation child custody case

Divorce and child custody issues are emotionally charged and difficult, and parental relocation is no exception. If you want to move out of Pennsylvania with your child, you probably have a lot of questions. These cases can be especially hard to understand and navigate. While this process is hardly ever easy, here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to move out of state with your child.

1. Follow the legal procedure

First of all, you need to understand how the legal procedure of relocation works in Pennsylvania. According to the law, you and your ex must come to an agreement regarding the move. You cannot legally leave without the approval of the other parent. You must notify the other parent and others with an interest in custody of the move. If no interested parties file an objection to the move within 30 days, they lose the ability to block the relocation. If anyone files an objection, a trial will be scheduled.

2. Understand the important factors

You should not attempt to relocate with your child without knowing what the court will look at when deciding your case. Influencing factors in your case include the following:

  •          How far away you want to move
  •          Your motivations for the move
  •          The ability of you and your ex to communicate
  •          How the move will affect your child
  •          The bond your child has with you and your ex

The court will scrutinize your reasons for leaving and what effects the move will have on your child in an attempt to keep your child's best interests at heart. You will need to anticipate questions regarding these issues and have strong arguments prepared.

3. Get legal advice

Relocation cases are especially difficult and nuanced. It is crucial to follow the procedures correctly and build up strong arguments for moving if you want to have your best shot at winning the case. Unless your ex provides written permission, it has the potential to be a contentious and drawn-out process. Consulting a family law attorney will help you understand the process and do everything correctly. An attorney will also be able to advise you regarding what timeline you can expect, what additional factors the court will evaluate and how to use the best strategy. If you think moving out of state with your child is in his or her best interest and you want to pursue this goal, contact a family law attorney for representation in your custody case.