The Law Offices of
Dawn K. Gull

Providing Family Law Representation In Western
Pennsylvania.

Dawn K. Gull

Factors courts will consider when a parent wants to relocate

| Jul 29, 2020 | Child Custody |

Parents in the Wexford area who have divorced generally have a child custody and visitation plan in place that allows them both to spend quality time with their child. However, sometimes a parent will want to move out of the Wexford area to another part of Pennsylvania or perhaps to a different state altogether. While the parent who wants to relocate may have a good reason for doing so, it is important to note that a relocation may affect the other parent’s rights to the child.

Factors courts will consider regarding relocation

For this reason, following a divorce a parental relocation can only take place if both parents consent to it or if the court approves the proposed relocation. When a court is deciding whether to allow a proposed relocation, it will consider a variety of factors, including:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent, siblings and other significant people in the child’s life
  • The child’s age and needs, and whether relocating will impact the child’s development
  • Whether it is possible to preserve the child’s relationship with the nonrelocating parent following the relocation through appropriate child custody arrangements while keeping in mind the feasibility and financial circumstances of both parents
  • The child’s wishes regarding the relocation
  • The reasons for the relocation and whether one parent is trying to either promote or thwart the child’s relationship with the other parent
  • Whether relocating will enhance the relocating parent’s quality of life and the child’s quality of life
  • Whether child abuse is an issue
  • Other factors affecting the child’s best interests

Relocation should benefit children and parents

In the end, parental relocation should be in the best interests of the child. A parent may have a good reason for relocating that provides them with better opportunities, but these opportunities should also benefit the child without interfering with the child’s relationship with their other parent. Family law attorneys in Pennsylvania understand that such changes can be stressful and can provide sound, knowledgeable advice.