Relocation

RelocationUntil the passage of a new custody statute in January 2011, the issue of relocation was governed by case law. Section 5337 now provides that no relocation shall occur unless

(1) every individual who has custody rights to the child consents to the proposed relocation

or (2) the court approves the proposed relocation.

Notice requirements are set out in the new statute, which must be strictly followed. In determining whether to grant a proposed relocation, the court must consider the following factors, giving weighted consideration to those factors that affect the safety of the child:

  • 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 people in the child's life
  • The age, developmental stage, needs of the child and the likely impact relocation will have on the child's physical, educational and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child
  • 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
  • The child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child
  • Whether there is an established pattern of conduct of either party to promote or thwart the relationship with the child and the other party
  • Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the child, including financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity
  • The reasons and motivation of each party for seeking or opposing the relocation
  • Present and past abuse committed by a party or a member of the party's household and whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party

  • Any other factor affecting the best interests of the child

We Can Help Make Your Case

To learn how Silverblatt & Associates can help you in your relocation concern, contact us at our Wilkes-Barre office. You can call our firm at 570-820-9800 or reach us online.