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Pennsylvania Laws About Relocating After Divorce

June 19, 2020

After you get divorced, you do not need to seek your ex-spouse’s approval about every little aspect of parenting. Your ex is not there to shoot you a dirty look if you allow your children to have a second helping of dessert. If your preteen daughter decides that she wants to cut her hair short, you can drive her to the hair salon without first discussing your plans with your ex, and just let him be surprised when he sees her new hairstyle next weekend. If your ex thinks you are a snob for taking your children to the opera on a Saturday evening, it’s no skin off your nose. If you plan to move so far away as to make your current parenting plan untenable, though, you have a legal obligation to notify your ex-spouse, because it affects your ex’s relationship with his or her children. The family law attorneys at Iwanyshyn & Associates in Greater Pittsburgh can help even the most conflict-avoidant parents renegotiate their parenting plans before one parent moves out of the Pittsburgh area.

The Legal Definition, or Lack Thereof, of Relocation

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania law is not very specific about how far you have to move for your move to count as relocation. The guiding principle is that, if you move so far away that it is difficult or impossible to abide by your current parenting schedule, it is a relocation. The law does not say, for example, that moving 30 miles away is relocation, but moving 29 miles away is not. Even if you are only moving a short distance away, it is best to notify your ex the same way you would if you were moving out of Pennsylvania.

The Legal Obligations of the Relocating Parent

If you and your ex-spouse have a parenting plan for one or more minor children, Pennsylvania law requires you to notify your ex of your intended relocation at least 60 days before you move. You must notify your ex in writing, and you must specify your new address, the people who will be living at your new house, and the date of your anticipated move. If you have a restraining order against your ex because of domestic violence, the court will redact the address information from the notice before sending it to your ex. If you are moving because your employer transferred you to a different work location and your employer did not give you 60 days’ notice, then you must notify your ex no more than 10 days after you find out about the move.

Your ex has a right to object to the move; he or she has 30 days to file the objection. The court will schedule a hearing to determine if it will allow you to move and how it will modify the parenting plan if you do.

Iwanyshyn & Associates Helps You Relocate with Minimal Conflict

Family law attorneys can help you modify your parenting plan to accommodate long-distance co-parenting. Contact Iwanyshyn & Associates in Greater Pittsburgh & Western PA for help resolving parenting plan disputes. 🡺 412-419-3448