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I need a clarification on part of the relocation stipulation to the PA custody law there are only 29 days until our move left.

Apollo, PA |

I have full physical & legal custody, we are planning a move in just 29 days. Because I am the only parent with custody am I still required to file a relocation pettition with the court? I do not have even 30 days let alone 60 to settle this and I do not want to risk loosing custody if I move without the court's approval.
I notified the other party verbally and handed a revised visitation schedule to him for review. The new schedule changes his every other weekend, alternating holidays, Winter break& 2 wks of summer (provided he is with her at all times) to him having her winter break, all of summer vacation except the last two weeks before school begins and occasional extra visits when financially and feasibly possible for both parties.
Do I need the court's approval to move?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Yes.

    If the other party agreed to the changes that you handed to him, you are probably ok to move. You still need to file the custody stipulation to make it into an order of the court.

    If he files an emergency petition, you will have to hand over your child to him or make other arrangements for keeping your child in the state until new arrangements are worked out. You will not be allowed to move the child out of state. This sort of case can take as much as one year to work out.

    Did you give him an equal amount of time as he has right now? Are the school districts as good where you are moving as where he lives? If not, he has every reason to challenge your move.

    As for your time frame, it's hard to imagine you didn't know you were moving a long time ago. You didn't bother to take care of this and the court will not have sympathy with your timing of your move.

  2. First, based on the facts contained in your question, you don’t have “Full Physical Custody” rather it sounds like you have Primary Physical Custody with Father having Partial Physical Custody.

    IF, Father consents to the move you will need to have a revised custody Order prepared, executed and signed by the Judge. You should have an attorney assist you if he does in fact agree.

    It also sounds like the proposed move is either out of state or far away from your current residence within the state, so if there is no agreement you will definitely need to follow the procedures for a relocation or you will likely find yourself having to return to your present jurisdiction faced with either a choice of moving back yourself, or returning the child as the court will not reward you for resorting to self help by moving without an explicit approval.

    A link to the relevant law is listed below, but if you continue with your current plans I do not believe you will be pleased with the result. Do yourself a favor and call an attorney today.

  3. You need either permission from the Court or written permission from the father to move. The courts are being very strict about the relocation procedure. You need to make sure you follow the procedure properly. This includes sending him the required notice by certified mail. You probably want to include in the notice that you previously notified him of the move. You should consult an attorney to make sure you follow the relocation process properly. Feel free to call my office to discuss this more in depth.

    This answer is for informative purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. This Q&A forum does not create an attorney/client relationship. If you have a legal concern that is important to you, I urge you to consult with an attorney. For those who are concerned about their ability to afford legal assistance, the ACBA's Lawyer Referral Service is here to help: .

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