If you have a custody order, you cannot relocate without going through specific legal processes. According to Pennsylvania Legislation Title 23 Sec. 5337 (b), every person with custodial rights must consent to the move. Additionally, the court must approve the relocation request.
Pennsylvania courts always consider the child’s best interests before either parent’s wishes. You may have valid personal reasons for moving, but you must prove your child’s quality of life will improve sufficiently enough to justify the relocation. It is likely your ex-spouse will also object to the move. If this happens, you must go to trial.
Consider your child’s needs
The court considers several elements before they make their decision. You must prove the relocation will not affect the child’s educational, physical or emotional development. If your child has special needs, the court needs to know that the child will have them taken care of in their new location.
Your ex-spouse has a say
Your child needs to maintain a relationship with your ex-spouse. The farther you plan on moving, the harder it will be to prove this is possible to the courts. You need to have a plan that shows how the people who are essential in your child’s life will continue to be a part of the custody plan.
Relocating with your child is a complex process after divorce. Your ex-spouse and the courts need to have reassurances that the parenting time and quality of life for your child will not suffer. Understandably, people must relocate sometimes, but you risk losing visitation time if you do not put the child’s needs first.