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Act 112 of 2010: Relocating in Pennsylvania with Your Child after Divorce

By Sheryl Rentz on March 9, 2011

House Bill 1639 (now called Act 112 of 2010) is the new law regarding child custody in Pennsylvania, and went into effect on January 24. The new law deals with many aspects of child custody, but its focus is on setting a framework for the Pennsylvania court system to employ when handling a party’s request for location with a child following a divorce from another party.

Under the Act, a person who wishes to move is required to give notice to anyone else with custodial rights to their child. Keep in mind that “relocation” is defined as a child’s residence change that significantly inhibits the capability of the non-relocating party to implement their custodial rights. Relocation is not restricted to moving outside of Pennsylvania or moving between PA counties; even moving within the same county could be considered “relocation.”

A person wishing to relocate in Pennsylvania cannot simply inform the other party of their intended move. The relocating party must provide the other party notice as well as specific information, including, but not limited to, justification for the proposed relocation, the new residence’s address, the name of the child’s new school, and an amended custody schedule proposal. In addition, the non-relocating party is required to be given a Counter-Affidavit Regarding Relocation from the relocating party, which provides the non-relocating party an ability to object or agree to the proposed relocation.

There are time limits to this notification. The relocating party must notify the non-relocating part at least 60 days before the relocation date. After the non-relocating party is given the notice, they have 30 days in order to oppose it and file the Counter-Affidavit. It is important to note that if the non-relocating fails to file this document, the court assumes they consent to the suggested relocation and will not receive testimony that challenges the proposal if the non-relocating party attempts to petition the court later.

If the non-relocating party does not oppose the relocation and/or files the Counter-Affidavit stating their endorsement, the relocating party can acquire court authorization regarding the relocation as well as adjustment of the custody schedule by filing certain documents.

However, if the non-relocating party opposes the relocation and/or the modification of the custody schedule, a court hearing will need to be held, which will be before relocation takes place, unless there are certain circumstances that justify authorization of the proposed relocation before the hearing.

If you live in Pennsylvania and have recently divorced, you may have many questions regarding what you are able to do if there are children involved. At The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, a Pennsylvania child relocation attorney can help you understand the modifications made to Pennsylvania’s child custody laws and answer any questions you may have. Call 610-645-0100 today.

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