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Can you move away from Pennsylvania with your kids?

Part of moving on with your life after a divorce may be moving to a new area. If, however, you wish to take your kids with you when you relocate, that may present some problems. Your move will almost certainly impact your ex-spouse’s custody or visitation rights. You need to follow the proper procedures when relocating to guarantee that any missteps cannot be used against you when the court considers how to best modify your custody agreement.

A modification will almost certainly be inevitable, as the court recognizes that (minus cases of parental abuse) that it is in a child’s best interest to have both parents actively involved in their lives. Thus, despite whatever distance you put between yourself and your ex-spouse, the two of you will need to continue coordinating your parenting efforts.

Section 5337 of Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statutes requires that you provide all parties involved in your custody case with at least 60 days’ notice of your intention of moving. If you are unable to provide the 60 day notice, the law requires notice to be given no later than 10 days after the individual learns of the relocation.

With that notice, you must include a revised custody arrangement that still makes it possible for your ex-spouse to have their time with the kids. If your ex-spouse wants to contest, or dispute, your relocation, they must do so within 30 days of receiving your notice. A failure to do so is seen as them consenting to the move (and your proposed revisions to the custody agreement.) You can reduce the chances of your ex-spouse objecting to your move by including them in your planning.