Thursday, November 10, 2011

custody - relocation - consideration of all statutory factors

ED v. MP - Superior Court - November 9, 2011

Which statute applies? - Because Father initiated his relocation request after the effective date of the new Act and Mother’s request for modification of the custody order followed, the provisions of the new Child Custody Act apply here.

Duty of court to consider statutory factors - The court agreed that the trial court failed to consider adequately the ten factors for relocation in section 5337(h), which mandates that the trial court shall consider all of the factors listed therein, giving weighted consideration to those factors affecting the safety of the child. 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5337(h).

In this case, it cannot be ascertained from the record on appeal whether the trial court considered all of the section 5337(h) factors in reaching its decision. To the extent that the trial court did consider these factors, it did so in a cursory manner without references to the record or explanations for its conclusions.