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New Relocation Factors Under 2010 Custody Law

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The Court must now consider and write an opinion addressing the 10 factor outlined in the new 2010 Custody Act

By Attorney Nichole A. Collins, Child Custody Relocation Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

Prior to the new Act going into effect in January 2010, the courts were to utilize the Gruber Factors to determine if relocation was in the best interests of the minor child(ren).  Those three (3) factors included whether their was a substantial economic benefit to the relocating party; what were the motives of the non-relocating parent in attempting ot block the move and is there a possibility of substantial periods of make-up time with the non-relocating parent. 

The Court  is to now consider the following:

(1) 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 and financial circumstances of the parties.

(4) The child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child.

(5) Whether there is an established pattern of conduct of either party to promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the other party.

(6) Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the party seeking the relocation, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity.

(7) Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the child, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity.

(8) The reasons and motivation of each party for seeking or opposing the relocation.

(9) The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party's household and whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party.

(10) Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child.

If you have questions about a pending relocation, you need to be aware that steps have to be taken before you may move with the child(ren).  The other party must be notified in writing at least 60 days before the move.  Do not move without consulting experienced counsel.  You may contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

1 Comment

I have a custody agreement already on file at the prothonotary in York, PA win 2009. My custody agreement states "Both Parties (Mother and Father) agree the FATHER can relocate out of state with out petitioning the courts for permission.

**** Does this New Law that took effect January 2011 regarding Relocation affect my order?

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