The company you work for has given you a promotion and new managerial responsibilities. The only problem is that you will have to transfer from Pottsville to Philadelphia. 

You have custody of your ten-year-old son Michael who will relocate with you. However, you must first notify the other parent and then petition the court to modify your child custody agreement. How will all this work out? 

Giving notice

Since your intention to relocate requires changing the residence of your son, you must follow a certain procedure. Philadelphia is roughly 100 miles from Pottsville, so the move will affect the custodial rights of the other parent. The state requires you to send a notice of your plan to the non-relocating party by certified mail, return receipt requested, and you must do so no later than 60 days before your proposed moving date. If objecting to this plan, the other parent must serve you with a counter-affidavit, sent the same way, within 30 days of the receipt of your notice. Both you and the other parent then have the right to request a hearing. If there is no objection, no hearing will be necessary. 

Approaching the court

Plan ahead in petitioning the court for child custody agreement modification. The priority here is always the best interests of the child, so you must offer the rationale for your proposed move. For example, you can provide a letter from your employer confirming your promotion and the resulting need to transfer from Pottsville to Philadelphia. Since you have custody of Michael, the judge will also want to know your transportation plans to enable the child to spend sufficient time with the other parent. 

Providing relocation backup

You must also assure the court that you have your son’s best interests in mind with regard to the move. The court will look favorably on any information you can provide about the new neighborhood, the school Michael will attend, the possibilities for extracurricular activities and the opportunities he will have to make new friends. If you can show that you, Michael and the other parent will maintain good familial relationships after the move, the court will likely approve custody agreement modification.