In the last year-and-a-half since the new custody statute became effective, a number of cases have been decided by the Pennsylvania Superior Court analyzing the application of the new act. It is clear, based on the published opinions, that all of the factors pertaining to the trial court making a custody decision as well as the factors pertaining to the court making a child relocation decision must be analyzed by the trial court. The recent case of B.K.M. v. J.A.M., ___ A.3d ___, 2012 PA Super 156 (Pa. Super 2012), is the third case to specifically analyze child relocation. According to the opinion, a trial court cannot ignore the facts and circumstances that exist after a party relocates with a child prior to the full evidentiary hearing when making a decision.
Michael E. Bertin is a partner at the law firm of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel. He is co-author of the book Pennsylvania Child Custody Law, Practice and Procedure. He is chair-elect of the family law section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, co-chairman of its custody committee, and a past member of council and the executive committee of the
family law section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. This article is reprinted with permission from the October 9, 2012, issue of The Legal Intelligencer. © 2012 ALM Media LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.
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