I have primary custody of my son. His father moved to PA for a work project. It was only supposed to be for a few months. My son wanted to go and I allowed it with the verbal agreement that we were all moving to Colorado. I just moved and the father kept giving me excuses and reasons why he couldn’t move yet. It’s now been about 1 year and he filed for custody in PA. Can I go to PA, get my son and bring him back to Colorado with me? My boy keeps asking to live with me. He will be 12 yrs. in January.
The question posed is a difficult one for many reasons. First and foremost, if the initial order for legal decision making/custody and parenting time are from Arizona, then AZ courts would have jurisdiction over these issues until they release jurisdiction. Therefore, his action in PA requires AZ relinquishing jurisdiction. Second, due to the fact that Dad and child have been in PA for greater than a 6 months (due to agreement) it is possible that PA can take over jurisdiction for this case based on PA now having “home state designation”. Our attorneys are licensed in Arizona and cannot give advice or comment on Pennsylvania law and suggest you contact a PA attorney to obtain information on the process and have them assist you. It would likely benefit you to respond and participate in the action filed in PA and ask PA to award you physical custody of your child and for you to relocate him to Colorado. Third, I would recommend compiling any written communications you have with the Father in this matter to demonstrate your temporary agreement, as it was not reflected in any court order, as well. These types of agreements are often difficult to address in Court absent documentation.