Bucks County Child Custody Relocation Attorney
After a divorce, circumstances might change for a parent, either personally or professionally, that may result in the need to relocate with a child. Also referred to as move-away cases, issues involving relocation with a child after a divorce can be emotional and complicated. The experienced Bucks County child custody relocation attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand have helped many clients in the Newtown area with relocation cases, and whether you are the parent that needs to move away or a parent fighting a relocation request, our team can provide the legal prowess you need for your case. Call or contact us today to learn more.
General Rules for Relocation
Unlike many other states that have a specific mile designation for what constitutes a relocation, Pennsylvania law does not. A move is considered a relocation if it significantly impairs the custodial rights of the parent not moving away. In order to relocate with a child, both parents must consent to the move and the court must approve before the move can take place. Notice must be provided to the noncustodial parent at least sixty days before the move, or more than ten days if the custodial parent could not have reasonably known about the move prior to then. The noncustodial parent then has thirty days to contest the relocation, and a judge will schedule a hearing.
Factors Used To Determine a Relocation Request
When determining whether to allow a relocation request, the judge in the case will weigh several factors through the lens of what is in the best interests of the child. The parent requesting the move has the burden of proving that the relocation is in the child’s best interests. Factors considered by the court include the following:
- The nature, quality, extent of involvement and duration of the child’s relationship with each parent and other important figures
- The age, developmental stage, needs of the child and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational and emotional development
- The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the noncustodial parent and the child through custody modification
- The child’s preference, if feasible
- Whether there is an established pattern of conduct of either parent to promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the other parent
- Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the parent and the child seeking the relocation
- The reasons and motivation of each party for seeking or opposing the relocation
- Any present or historical evidence of domestic violence or abuse
- Any other factor affecting the best interests of the child
Other Options in a Relocation Case
There are other options to consider in a relocation case besides consent or rejection. If the noncustodial parent has a job with the requisite flexibility, they can consider moving, too, in order to maintain a relationship with their child. If relocating with the custodial parent and child is not an option, the noncustodial parent can also request a modification to the existing child custody agreement in order to reconfigure the custody arrangement to address the new circumstances of the relocation. To learn more about your options, talk to an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney today.
Talk to Our Office Now
If you are struggling with a relocation request after a divorce, the knowledgeable family law attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand can help. Call or contact our office today to schedule an evaluation of your case.