Judges Approve Relocations That Benefit Children
Anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, Ph.D., reports that divorce within eight years of getting married results from disappointment, unmet expectations, financial problems, substance abuse, or even physical or emotional abuse. Divorce impacts your children psychologically, physically, academically, and behaviorally. Your children need a strong family, support system, and home where they are loved and can express their emotions.
Moving With Your Child After Divorce
Relocation under Pennsylvania law is open to interpretation, and it means you must modify or renegotiate child custody, time-sharing plans, and how and when you and your partner will each be with your children. Pennsylvania law defines relocation as “a change in the residence of the child, which significantly impairs the ability of a non-relocating party to exercise custodial rights.” Our family divorce lawyer can help you to mediate a cost-effective way to change your child custody agreement.
Notification of Interested Parties
Changing your child’s home address requires the signed approval of all who have access to the child under your existing court order or a judge’s approval. The relocating parent must formally notify all parties at least 60 days prior to the move. Co-parents must agree and negotiate a parenting plan that’s in the best interest of both you and your children.
Modification of Your Child Custody Order
The non-relocating parent is obligated to agree with the petitioner and negotiate new co-parenting or visitation arrangements or object to the proposed move by stating objections. If the co-parent or a biological parent objects to the change, the judge schedules a hearing. You should never simply move with your child because you can be held in contempt of court and ordered to return the child to your co-parent.
The judge considers alcohol or substance abuse, DUI convictions, spousal or child abuse, and the contribution of each parent to the financial support of the child. Generally, it’s important to maintain a relationship with your child to be considered for visitation or joint custody, but an absent parent may be granted visitation or custody if the petitioning parent is not a good choice.
The judge will approve changes that benefit your child financially, emotionally, or educationally. For example, your child may benefit when you take on a higher-paying job. The judge may decide moving closer to family and friends increases your children’s support network and approve your move.
Mediation of Child Custody Issues
Our family divorce lawyer with more than 30 years’ worth of experience can help you to mediate a cost-effective solution to the modification of your child custody order. Agreeing on child custody issues and creating an amicable relationship between co-parents is best for your children. If you intend to appear in court with a lawyer, you’ll have to pay legal fees. A judge will consider the physical availability of the child to the non-relocating parent, including time-sharing, the distance between the homes, how the child will travel from one house to the other, and who will pay for the trip.
Relocation with a child after divorce opens up the issue of child custody for all parties who are interested in each child. Competing presumptions allow a biological parent to seize the opportunity to gain joint custody or visitation that they, otherwise, did not enjoy. A DNA test determines who is a child’s biological father, but the judge has the right to decide that another man is your child’s legal father. A biological father can file for custody of his child if his wife is the co-parent attempting to relocate. If your child is a teenager, the judge will ask your child where he or she wants to live.
Law Office of Joanne Kleiner
Call our family divorce lawyer at (215) 886-1266 today to schedule a confidential consultation in our conveniently located Jenkintown office. You can meet with us before you change your residence or respond to a petition from a co-parent who hopes to relocate with your child. Our family lawyer may be able to help you if you are a child’s biological parent who hopes to gain joint custody or visitation rights with your children.