By Lee A. Schwartz, Attorney at Law

Published: July 17, 2004

Relocation cases in Pennsylvania are generally difficult cases to resolve out of court, especially if the distance that one parent is moving to is more than several hours away. Historically, a parent who wanted to relocate with a child or children had to ask the Court for permission. The parent who is moving away had to prove that the move was in the best interest of the minor and that the parent who was moving away was doing so for “pure” reasons and not solely to frustrate the custodial rights of the parent who was not moving.

The cases have changed to a degree recently, although permission by the Court is still required. Now, the Courts have begun to hold that since the minor child has lived with the custodial parent all along, the child would probably be more comfortable moving with the custodial parent and as long as the reason the parent wants to move is a good reason, the court is more inclined than it used to be to permit the move. A relocation of more than several hours will have a substantial impact upon custody time that the minor child will have with the non-custodial parent since the “every other weekend” norm will be impossible.

The trial of a relocation case, as with any custody trial, is often a very expensive and time consuming task.

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