Issues with Relocation under the new Pennsylvania Child Custody act
60 Days Notice"No relocation shall occur unless every individual who has custody rights to the child consents to the proposed relocation" 23 Pa.C.S.A. S 5337(b)(1). Notification means that the party proposing the move shall, on later than the 60th day before the date of the move must make the non-moving parent aware of eleven specific items:
1. Address of new residence;
2. Mailing address;
3. Names and ages of all individuals living in the new residence;
4. Home telephone number;
5. Name of new school district and school;
6. Date of proposed move;
7. Reasons for proposed move;
8. Proposal for revising the custodial schedule;
9. Any other information deemed appropriate;
10. A counter-Affidavit under tne new rule;
11. A warning that failure to respond within thirty days will prevent objecting to the new move.
Dealing with ObjectionsAs previously mentioned, a Counter-Affidavit must be provided which allows the non-moving party to properly object. However, an objection must include why she or he objects to the relocation and whether she or he objects to the modification of the custody order or not. This puts a burden on the non-moving party to, not only specifically state that she or he objects to the move, but the reason for the objection.
HearingIn the event proper notice is given and a properly filed objection is made, an expedited full hearing on the proposed relocation and must consider the ten factors, giving weight to those factors which affect the safety of the child.
Factors the Court shall Consider at Relocation Hearing1. The nature, quality, extent of involvement and duration of the child's relationship with the party proposing to relocate and with the nonrelocating party, siblings and other significant persons in the child's life;
2. The age, developmental stage, needs of the child and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child's physical, educational and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child;
3. The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating party and the child through suitable custody arrangements, considering the logistics an financial circumstances of the parties.
4. The child's preference;
5. Any pattern of misconduct by the parties;
6. The general quality of life enhancement for the party;
7. The general quality of life enhancement for the child;
8. Reasons and motivation for each party;
9. Any present or past abuse;
10. Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child.
No Objection to NoticeIn the event no objection is made to the properly filed Notice requirement, the party seeking to relocate, the Court shall not take testimony challenging the relocation - which is important incentive for each party to properly follow the new relocation rules.