In the matter of M.P. v. M.P., 54 A.3d 950, the Pennsylvania Superior Court clarified the extent of authority of a parent who enjoys sole legal custody over a child.

The mother of the child at issue in M.P. was from Ecuador. Most of her family, including her parents, resides in Ecuador, according to the opinion. She was granted primary custody of the child in July 2009 and the father was awarded supervised visits for two hours per week. Despite receiving such minimal custody, the father did not take advantage of it to spend time with his child. In or about November 2011, after a hearing, the mother was awarded sole legal custody of the child. She filed a petition to permit her to take the child to Ecuador for three weeks, a trip which the father opposed. The lower court entered an order prohibiting the mother from taking the trip to Ecuador, which led to her filing an appeal to the Superior Court.

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