Chester County Relocation Lawyer
Child Custody Issues in Chester County
After a divorce, you may be worried about how much time you get to see your child, but custody plans and visitation schedules are court-ordered and should be followed as closely as possible. But what if one parent wants to move away, such as out of state? That often creates a major divide with the other parent and leads to another difficult dispute.
If you need legal guidance with a child relocation case in Chester County, reach out to our team at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. Relocations are complex, and judges have the final say about where the child will live. But strong evidence can make all the difference. Our Chester County relocation lawyer has more than 25 years of experience representing parents in contentious custody battles and can explain all of your options in a free consultation. Call us at (610) 645-0100 to get started on your case.
Deciding Where a Child Lives After a Divorce
Child custody can take many forms after a divorce. While family courts prefer that both parents have an equal amount of time in their child’s life, several factors can influence where the child lives and how long each parent gets to see her. Typically, parents are granted joint custody, meaning they have a 50/50 split on the number of nights their child spends at each home. Joint custody can vary depending on work schedules, convenience for the parents, and the child’s age, with some leaning more 60/40 or 70/30.
In more complicated situations, one parent may have sole physical custody, while the other one only receives visitation. The child may stay at the custodial parent’s home every night but get to see his other parent for a limited amount of time each week or month, either in a supervised or unsupervised situation.
How Chesco Family Court Handles Relocations
In general, Pennsylvania family law courts will not allow a parent to relocate a child without first filing a petition before a judge. Family law courts are designed to uphold the best interests of the child above those of either parent, and the court’s final decision on any custody matter will be based on how it will affect the child.
In addition, if both parents have custody, then Chesco Family Court will need to hear both sides before approving or denying a relocation request -- unless both parents consent to the move.
If a parent wishes to relocate a child, she must give the other parent notice of her court request. This will grant the other parent enough time to prepare his own case. This is true whether that parent has joint physical custody or sole physical custody, as a non-custodial parent is allowed to contest a relocation if it affects his visitation.
There are other issues that can come up if one parent tries to move without his children. For example, if an out-of-state family member is in an accident or becomes ill, you may need to fly out to make sure they are taken care of. In this situation, you may need to adjust custody with your ex to ensure your children are also taken care of. But if you have to move permanently, you may also need to request an emergency custody order to adjust your custody plan to fit the new situation. In this event, you will need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
Can My Ex Take My Child Away?
Sometimes, one parent may threaten to take a child away from the other or deny her custody by traveling out of state or out of the country. If you have joint custody, then this is illegal under both state and federal law. Not only is the other parent violating a court order, but he may have committed parental kidnapping, which is a serious offense under Chapter 29 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.
You should contact an attorney and the proper authorities as soon as you receive such a threat. Local Chester County Sheriffs can make sure your child is safe and help you acquire a restraining order against your ex if he or she attempts to take your child away. A family law attorney can also file an emergency custody order to protect your child and guarantee your custody rights.
Speak to Family Law Attorney Sheryl Rentz Today
Child relocation is difficult, whether you are a parent looking to move out of state or a parent trying to prevent a move-away order. Your best option is to talk to a Chester County family law attorney about your situation. At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., our lead attorney can explain your rights under the law and outline how to protect your child in a free consultation. She has more than 25 years of experience and has helped multiple clients get satisfactory results in their family law cases. Call at (610) 645-0100 to learn how our team can fight for your family.