Montgomery County International Child Relocation Attorney
Relocating a Child Out of the Country
Figuring out child custody issues can be challenging enough when parents live in the same city. Determining parental rights can get even more complicated when one parent wants to move to another city, state, or country. Some Pennsylvania residents have family or even citizenship in other countries. So, it is not unheard of for divorced parents to want to move out of the country.
Child custody can become an extremely difficult issue among former spouses or partners, especially when it involves relocating the child. Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. can help uphold your parental rights while exploring a realistic solution for your family. We have extensive experience in resolving disputed child custody cases, including those involving parent relocation. Please call us to find out how we can help you. You can reach us at (610) 645-0100.
Pennsylvania Family Law Relating to Relocation
Under Pennsylvania law, when the parent of a minor child wants to move out of state or out of the country, that parent has to get the approval of the other parent or any other person who has custodial rights. If you're planning to move with your child, you may also need to get a court order granting permission to relocate. Pennsylvania's child custody law defines a child relocation as a change in residence that "significantly impairs" the ability of the other custodial parent to exercise their rights. In such cases, the court will examine whether the move will significantly affect the other parent's ability to see and interact with the children as they did before.
Understanding Parental Rights
When one parent wants to move away, it is important for both parents involved to discuss their situation with a family law attorney. Generally, a parent who has sole physical custody of the child may have the right to move away unless the other parent can prove that the move will harm the children. Not all custody orders are permanent. Even parents with sole custody may not have the right to simply pick up and move. These cases are extremely complicated and require legal guidance.
Parents with joint physical custody can't move with the children without proving in court that the relocation is in your child’s best interest. Joint custody parents can often prevent a move by saying they do not approve of the relocation, or that the move hurts the children in some way.
Parent Relocating to Canada
A parent who is planning to relocate to Canada will be restricted from doing so without the court’s approval. Only those parents with custodial rights can petition to relocate to another place that impacts the other parent’s ability to parent the child. Even if the other parent agrees with the move, court approval is necessary. The procedure for parental relocation in Pennsylvania involves the following required steps:
You are required to notify all other individuals who have custodial rights to your child about your intent to relocate to Canada. This notice, to meet the legal requirements, must be in writing and sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, no later than sixty days from the time you propose to move.
The other parent (or other person with custody of the child or children) must approve the relocation, or the court must approve it.
Right to Object:
The other parent has the right to object to your move, and can file that objection with the court, requesting a legal order to prevent the move. A hearing will be scheduled to rule upon the relocation and the modification to the existing custody order.
You have the right to travel, but moving away is another legal matter entirely. You have a current agreement for child custody, and this must be modified and approved by the court. If you have been offered employment in Canada, have family in that country, or want to move there for other reasons, this must be approached carefully and correctly with sufficient planning time to address any objections from the other parent, as well as court hearings.
The issues surrounding visitation must be addressed and resolved to the satisfaction of the other parent and the court. If you are considering a move to Canada with your child, we can help you seek a modification so that your move is legal. Canadian laws have an impact upon how child support and other issues are handled, and these must be managed by a skilled attorney familiar with these laws and requirements.
Whether you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, this matter must be handled carefully and correctly to achieve the court’s approval. The best interests of the child are the guiding factor in all court decisions about custody. Your desire to move to Canada, or plans to move to one of the U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, requires that your case is presented in the best possible light to improve the chance that your move out of the country will be approved.
At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, we work closely with our clients in all matters related to custody, including relocation cases. Our personalized service goes beyond the ordinary, and we do everything possible to achieve the outcome our clients want in requests to move to Canada, or other locations within the U.S.A. or its territories. Our clients are important to us, and nothing brings us greater pleasure than to achieve success in these very important issues. Read what our clients say about us so you have confidence that your move will be given the attention it deserves, from a child custody lawyer who truly cares about you and your children.
Review by the Pennsylvania Court
When one parent disapproves of the move, the court will step in to review the circumstances of the case. The court will review the parenting agreement and the actual parenting schedule at the time of the move. It is common for parents to actually keep a different schedule than the one set forth in the agreement.
The court will then consider the wishes of the parents, the best interests of the children, and the opportunities the parents will have to spend time with the children after the move. Technology has changed visitation options in recent years, and the court often allows virtual visitation for parents over the Internet. While that isn't the same as being with your children in person, visiting online through video chat is often preferable to a phone call, text, or email.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Lawyer in Montgomery County
Whether a parent is moving across the county or to another country, the court will need to be involved. You can fight for your right to move away or your right to remain close to your children with the help of a Montgomery County family law attorney.
Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. can help. Don't hesitate to explore your legal options and get the support you need. Call us at (610) 645-0100 to schedule your free consultation.
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