Wednesday, August 01, 2012

What Pennsylvania's Appellate Court Says About Relocating with your Children

As I have written about previously, statutes and case law guide a separated parent's ability to relocate with their child.  In Pennsylvania, we have a new law, enacted in early 2011 that outlines specific requirements for what information parents who want to move must provide to the other parent -- and how that other parent can object.

Hot off the press on July 31, 2012, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania issued an opinion on a custody relocation case.  You can read the complete opinion here.

In a new Pennsylvania case, a Mother wants to relocate to Sweden with the children.

A mom, originally from Sweden, met and  married a United States citizen in New Jersey.  However, Mother was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and underwent several surgeries.  She then returned to Sweden for more medical care, bringing the children with her.  Father visited her in Sweden and advised he wanted a divorce.  Over Mother's objection and request for counseling, he filed for divorce in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where he resided.  Significant litigation followed and, eventually, a trial on the relocation issues.  The trial court ordered that Mother and Father would share custody if the parents both lived in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  If Mother chose to live in Sweden, Father would have primary custody.

The appellate court overturned the ruling and directed that the trial court properly consider all of the factors under the statute.  The opinion outlines the factors in the statute and therefore provides a convenient reference for people considering relocation.

Relocation cases tend to be heart wrenching as one parent will generally have the children during the school year and the other parent will have the children during the summer --- not an ideal situation for quality child/parent relationships.

When parents live far apart - generally one parent will have the children during the school year.

If live in Pennsylvania and you are considering relocating with your children, consult with an attorney so that you understand the law and requirements under the statute.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.