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Relocating a Child

Relocation of a child after parents have separated can be complicated, especially if that location involves a great distance of moving out of state.

When parents are separated, they both have a right to the opportunity to keep their child nearby and remain a part of their life. However, when the custodial parent needs to relocate, the odds of relocating a child can seem daunting. If parents have joint custody, it can be difficult to come to an acceptable agreement. If the custodial parent has sole physical custody, the chance of a court granting relocation increases somewhat. The court will attempt to determine what is in the child’s best interests.

The Pittsburgh custody lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC understand how stressful this can be on the parents and children involved. With years of experience navigating the state’s legal system, attorney Anthony Piccirilli can aid you in your relocation issues.

Call (412) 471-5100 today to see how Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC can help you.


How is Relocation Defined?

In Pennsylvania, relocation is defined as any change in residence that would dramatically reduce the time the child would be able to spend with the non-relocating parent. It is also defined as a move that would impair the ability of one parent to exercise other custodial rights, such as planning trips and making decisions related to upbringing. Relocation is not defined according to a certain mile radius or whether or not the move is to another state.

How to Relocate with a Child

After a custody order is in place, a parent can only relocate their child by taking legal action. This process can vary, but it normally follows the same general steps. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Giving Notice – When attempting to relocate a child, the parent must inform every other individual with custodial rights of their intent to relocate. This notification must sent through the mail and cannot be sent less than 60 days in advance.
  2. Obtaining Approval – The relocation will only be allowed if all custodial parties agree or if the court approves the move. During this stage, a non-relocating party has the right to file an objection that will temporarily postpone the relocation. It is then the responsibility of the non-relocating party to prove that a relocation would be detrimental to the child’s welfare
  3. Courtroom Deliberation – After both parties have made their cases, the judge is required to consider the best interests of the child. In determining whether to grant or deny a relocation request, the judge will consider several factors, including, but not limited to the following:
    • The extent to which the child is attached to both parents
    • The age and developmental needs of the child
    • The feasibility of the child maintaining a relationship with the non-relocating parent if relocation occurs
    • The preference of the child

Contact Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC Today

Attempting to relocate a child can be an incredibly arduous task, especially if there is another party with custodial rights. The needs of the child should be considered first and foremost. If you need to relocate with a child, or want to oppose the relocation of your child, we can help. The custody lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC know that these situations can create turmoil. Attorney Anthony Piccirilli will guide you every step of the way, presenting your options in a way that is easy to understand.

Call (412) 471-5100 to see how your parental rights can be protected.