Can I Take My Ex Back To Court For Relocating Without Permission?

Ask a Lawyer


I have joint custody of my son, but my wife just moved out of the county without permission.

Can I take her back to court to modify his living situation? He has expressed a desire to stay with me.

Pennsylvania divorce attorney Jaimie Collins


In Pennsylvania, if a relocating parent’s move would significantly impact the non-relocating parent’s custodial rights, the relocating party must have either:

  1. The consent of every individual who has custody rights to the child; or
  2. Court approval before moving.

A party that chooses to relocate without the consent of the other parent or court approval risks the entry of a court order requiring the immediate return of the child.

Pennsylvania has strict requirements of formal notice prior to any relocation, and if the non-moving party properly contests the relocation, a relocation hearing will be held.

In Pennsylvania, if the moving party has failed to provide proper notice and has already moved, the non-moving party may file for an emergency or expedited hearing on the issue of relocation.

Whether a relocation is granted in Pennsylvania depends on factors such as how the relocation will affect the child, considering the “best interests of the child,” but also taking into consideration the feasibility of preserving the non-relocating party’s visitation time, whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the party seeking relocation and the reasons / motivation of each party regarding the proposed relocation.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Jaimie Collins, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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