What happens to a custody plan if a parent moves out of state?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Child Custody |

A Pennsylvania parenting plan typically gives both adults in the family plenty of time with their children. Especially when children are young, parents may need to exchange custody several times a week to properly maintain the bond between each adult and their kids.

Frequent custody exchanges are easiest to manage when the parents live relatively close to each other. However, life tends to change dramatically after the end of a marriage. People may start new relationships, go back to school and/or apply for new jobs. Eventually, one of a child’s parents may need to move out of Pennsylvania to pursue a job, educational opportunities or a new relationship.

What happens to a Pennsylvania parenting plan when one parent wants to leave the state?

They’ll need the support of the other parent or the courts

A long-distance move could have a negative impact on the rights of the parent left behind. They may have far less time with their children because of the distance between the households.

In scenarios where the other parent agrees to the relocation because they recognize that it is necessary or at least beneficial for the children, the parents can cooperate to file paperwork with support to amend the existing parenting plan to reflect the new schedule for custody exchanges and the new addresses of the parent leaving the state. The parent seeking to move will typically need to give both the courts and the other parent at least 60 days of advance notice before the relocation occurs.

If the other parent objects, then there may need to be a hearing. A judge can review the situation and determine if the relocation would be in the best interests of the children. If they decide to permit the relocation with the children, they will typically have to amend the parenting plan to reflect how the situation will change the family’s circumstances. In most cases, a significant move in a shared custody scenario will result in major adjustments to an existing parenting plan.

Understanding how the courts respond to relocation requests can help those hoping to move on with their life after divorce and/or who are worried about losing time with their children because their child’s other parent wants to move.

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