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Can m;y children's grandparents take them across state lines without my permission?

Pittsburgh, PA |

My wife and I are currently in the process of a divorce. She lives in PA and her parents want to take our two sons to Indiana for Thanksgiving without their mother. I do not consent to this. Can they take the children anyway?

Attorney Answers 2


There is some additional information that would be necessary in order to be able to fully answer your question. First it must be known whether you have an Order of Court dictating the terms of when each parent is entitled to exercise physical custody. If you have such an Order, there are typically provisions included for what type of notice must be given, if any, if the child will be traveling across state lines; and, further, provisions regarding holidays.

If you do not have an Order of Court restricting her ability to travel with the children, then she would be entitled to have the children travel with their grandparents, unless there is a danger posed to the children. If you have not already filed a Complaint for Custody (Primary, Shared or Partial), then you may want to consider doing this at your earliest convenience. You may then want to have a Petition prepared and presented to the Court requesting that the child not be removed from Allegheny County without the consent of both parties. However, you are running out of time.

In Allegheny County, Judges typically hear motions between 2 - 3 times per month. You must present your motions or petitions to your assigned Judge. Given the 7 day service requirement, you will likely be unable to have such a petition prepared and presented prior to Thanksgiving because, in my opinion, this does not rise to the level of an emergency, absent a rational concern that the children will not be returned to Pennsylvania.

If you have an attorney, you should have a conversation with him/her immediately. If you do not have an attorney, you need to contact one today. Do not delay any longer. Many firms who practice family law in Allegheny County offer free consultations. You should contact an attorney of your choosing immediately.

Good luck.

Joe Hirschmann
Allegheny County Custody Attorney

The answer provided is for general information only. No attorney-client relationship has been formed. Please contact an attorney in your area for case-specific advice.

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My colleague has provided you with excellent and thorough advice. I suggest that you take it to heart. It sounds like you're going to need the services of an experienced family law attorney very soon. Mr. Hirschmann regularly provides concise and well reasoned advice to people on this forum. You might consider contacting him since he's in Allegheny County.

Be sure to click Best Answer if you found this helpful. Disclaimer: Please note that this response does not in any way an attorney-client relationship between Kathryn L. Hilbush and the recipient. My responses are general in nature. They do not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult an attorney regarding this and any other legal matters.

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