Delaware County Relocation Attorney
Skilled Representation in Relocation Matters
Complications can arise when one parent wants to move away after a divorce. Relocation can have a significant impact on child custody and visitation and lead to a legal dispute with the other parent. If you are divorced and have minor children and considering relocation, or if the other parent wants to relocate with the children, consult with an experienced Delaware County family law attorney.
How Is It Determined Where a Child Lives After a Divorce?
As a general rule, family courts prefer that both parents have equal time with their children. Nevertheless, various factors can influence how much time a child will spend with each parent. In most divorce cases, judges grant joint custody. This often means the child spends an equal number of nights in each home, although it can vary depending on the age of the child, the work schedule of each parents, and other factors. In some joint custody situations, the child may be with one parent 60% or 70% of the time and with the other parent 40% or 30% of the time.
Less frequently, family law courts grant sole physical custody to one parent and visitation rights to the other parent. Depending on the circumstances, visitation may be unsupervised, or supervised if the safety and well-being of the child under the supervision of the non-custodial parent are in question. In determining child custody and visitation, family law courts are always guided by what decision will be in the best interests of the child.
Can One Parent Take a Child Away?
Generally, divorced or separated parents are not allowed to relocate a child without first filing a petition and obtaining approval from the court. Unless both parents consent to the move, the judge will hear both sides before making a decision on whether to grant or deny a relocation request. A parent wanting to relocate a child must file a petition and give timely notice to the other parent, even if he or she has sole physical custody, as a move will affect the other parent’s visitation. In an emergency situation, such as a sudden illness or injury that requires one parent to care for a close family member living out of state, that parent may need to request an emergency custody order from the judge to adjust custody to fit the new situation.
What Are the Consequences If a Parent Takes a Child Away Without Legal Authority?
In a joint custody situation, it is illegal for one parent to take a child away from the other parent by traveling out of state without the consent of the other parent or approval from the court. The parent who takes the child away is violating a court order and committing parental kidnapping, which is a serious crime under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Title 18, Chapter 29.
If your child’s other parent has threatened to take your child away without your consent or relocation approval from the court, notify the authorities and contact an experienced family law attorney right away. Delaware County law enforcement can help you obtain a restraining order against the other parent if he or she tries to remove the child. Our family law attorney can help you file an emergency custody order to help guarantee your rights to custody and to protect your child.
Should You Speak With a Delaware County Family Law Lawyer?
Whether you are seeking to move out of state with your child or want to prevent your child from moving away, your best chance of obtaining the most favorable outcome is to have an experienced family law attorney protecting your rights. Attorney Sheryl R. Rentz has more than 25 years of experience. Contact the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. today at (866) 290-9292.