Custody Disputes About One Parent's Intent to Relocate Out of the Jurisdiction of Court
What are the Factors that Should be Considered when a Custody Dispute Arises from One Parent's Intent to Relocate Out of the Jurisdiction of Court ?
In Gruber v. Gruber, 400 Pa. Super. 174, 583 A.2d 434 (Pa.Super. 1990), our Court set forth certain factors for a trial court to consider when a custody dispute arises from one parent's intent to relocate out of the jurisdiction of the court. See Gruber, 583 A.2d at 435 (formulating "the standard to be applied by a trial court in determining under what circumstances a parent who has primary physical custody may relocate outside the jurisdiction of the court").
The Gruber Court stated:
In order to decide whether a custodial parent and children shall be permitted to relocate at a geographical distance from a non-custodial parent, a trial court must consider the following factors.
First, the court must assess the potential advantages of the proposed move and the likelihood that the move would substantially improve the quality of life for the custodial parent and the children and is not the result of a momentary whim on the part of the custodial parent. . . .
Next, the court must establish the integrity of the motives of both the custodial and non-custodial parent in either seeking the move or seeking to prevent it. . . .
Finally, the court must consider the availability of realistic, substitute visitation arrangements which will adequately foster an ongoing relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent. Gruber, 583 A.2d at 439.