Strategies for Blocking Parental Relocation
Under Pennsylvania law, a custodial parent who wishes to locate must provide written notice to all others who have partial custody rights. Typically, this plays out when a couple divorces and the parent with primary physical custody wants to move the children far away, often out of state.
Fortunately, parents with partial physical custody can object, and a judge usually needs to decide whether the parent with primary physical custody can move the child.
Our Media child custody lawyer has represented many parents who want to block a relocation, reasonably fearing that they will not see their children as much following the move. Filing a timely objection is key, but there are other steps our clients can take to strengthen their case.
Max Out Your Time with Your Children
One factor a judge will consider is the nature and quality of the child’s time with each parent. To bolster an argument against relocation, we encourage parents to see their children as much as possible. This means making all visitation with your children, even if you have other obligations like work.
Your children might also play after-school sports or participate in other extracurricular activities. Remember to go to as many events as possible. This shows that being close to your child is important.
If you don’t see your children as much as possible, then a judge think relocation is not that big of a deal. After all, by skipping time with your children, you are telling the judge that it’s okay if you see them less, since that has been your pattern of conduct.
Stay Involved in Important Decisions
If you share legal custody, then stay involved in all major decisions affecting health, education, and religion. Don’t become overbearing but definitely provide your input. This shows that you are intimately involved in your children’s lives.
Maintain Excellent Relations with Your Ex
Judges also consider how well you encourage your child’s relationship with the other parent. You should do everything possible to maintain cordial relations. This means never making disparaging comments about your ex or second-guessing their parenting strategies.
When children are adolescents, they often become angry at one parent, and you might be tempted to commiserate with your child by taking their side in a dispute. Resist the urge. If necessary, hop onto a phone conversation with both your child and your ex and encourage everyone to listen to each other.
Be a Parent, Not a Friend
Your child’s preference will also play some role in the relocation decision, depending on your child’s age and maturity. Some parents try to ingratiate themselves by letting their children act out or engage in illegal activity like underage drinking. This is definitely the wrong approach. Anything that endangers your child’s safety can be used against you. Instead, strengthen your bond with your child by being the best parent you can be.
Want to Fight a Relocation? Contact Barbara Flum Stein & Associates
At the office of Barbara Flum Stein & Associates, we are committed advocates on behalf of our clients and can use the law to your advantage. If you are contesting a relocation, please contact a Media child custody lawyer as soon as possible. We can help bolster your case by fully documenting your continuing bond with your child.