Hi there Vince,
Great to hear from you and thanks for writing back!
You're quite welcome. It's entirely my pleasure to be of help to you.
Yes, the rough analogy of a "race" applies in a couple of ways. First, without any Judicial proceedings, it's up to whichever parent makes the first move in terms of taking a trip or otherwise making a geographic move with the child. Secondly, as you mentioned, it also comes down to which parent makes it first to the Courthouse. However, concerning the second scenario I'm certainly not saying being first to file means everything will go in favor of that parent. Not at all. Rather, the Judge is bound to make all decisions touching upon parental access (custody, visitation
, parenting) pursuant to the legal standard of what is "in the best interest of the child
". That will always trump any parental preference either way and so forth.
Now, procedurally, it works like this. There's no huge advantage, and certainly no disadvantage to having file previously, to be candid. Reconciliation is very common, so Judges tend to see this sort of scenario all the time. My best educated guess is that the case may have been automatically dropped from the docket, but a quick call to the Clerk will confirm where things stand in terms of needing to re-file. And yes, there certainly is a relocation law relevant here. To read it (it's quite short), please just click the following link:Pennsylvania General Statutes § 46b-56d
Looking at things from the perspective of best protecting your interests, and especially with your wife's job situation, I would encourage you to be proactive. Meaning, confirm the status of your previously filed case and either continue with it or re-file, if necessary. Either way, I really do think you need to have an appropriate Order in place.