Many times in a divorce or custody case, one of the parties wishes to relocate outside of the jurisdiction of the Court. In order to relocate with the minor children the relocating parent either needs consent from the non-relocating parent or an Order of Court granting permission to relocate. If the relocating parent is unable to receive consent, it is necessary to file a Petition to Relocate. Once this Petition is filed a Plowman Hearing is scheduled. This hearing must be held either before the move or under exigent circumstances, within a reasonable time thereafter. At the Plowman Hearing, the Court will apply the Gruber Standard. The Gruber Standard requires the Court to consider the following factors:
- The potential advantages of the proposed move, economic or otherwise, and the likelihood the move would improve substantially the quality of life for the custodial parent and the children and is not the result of a momentary whim on the part of the custodial parent;
- The integrity of the motives of both the custodial and non-custodial parent in either seeking the move or seeking to prevent it; and
- The ability of realistic, substitute visitation arrangements, which will foster adequately an ongoing relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent.
As in most custody cases, the Court is called upon to decide what is in the best interest of the minor children.
If you intend to relocate with minor children or if you are a parent who suspects that your spouse intends to relocate, it is very important to contact an attorney to assist you in these hearings.
If you have questions concerning relocation, call our office at 724-216-6433 or contact us via email on the "contact us" page.