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Relocating with the kids after your divorce

Your divorce will bring about a great deal of change. You, your ex-spouse and your children will now have to get used to a new family dynamic along with a new custody situation. Yet even that can become fluid. Say that the opportunity arises for you to move to another part of Pennsylvania (or out of the state altogether). Given the impact that relocation will have on yours or your ex-spouse’s access to your kids, it may unreasonable to think that your custody arrangement can continue in its current form.

Preparing for a potential relocation

For this reason, the law requires detailed planning of a relocation that impacts custody. Indeed, according to Title 23 Section 5337 of Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statutes, you must provide all parties who have custody rights to your children (which may go beyond your ex-spouse to include your parents as well as theirs) notice of your intention to move at least 60 days prior to it actually happening. The only exception to this would be cases where an immediate need to relocate arises and you cannot reasonably provide the 60-day notice (even in such a situation, you must give notice within 10 days of learning of your need to relocate).

Some of the information required to be in your notice includes:

  • The address and telephone number of your new residence (if known; if not known, you must include a mailing address where the court can reach you)
  • The date you intend to move
  • The reason for the move
  • The names and ages of all residents living in your new residence
  • The name of the new school (and school district) your kids will attend

Working on a revised custody schedule

When you provide notice of your intent to move, you also need to submit a proposal for a revised custody schedule. Your move will not receive approval unless everyone with custody rights to your kids agrees. Thus, you should consider working with your ex-spouse to come up with a schedule you can both agree with before risking that the court imposes one on you.

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