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06/19/2024 04:11 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 2, 2024 08:32 PM
From: Representative Liz Hanbidge and Rep. Tim Briggs
To: All House members
Subject: Streamlining the Child Custody Determination Factors
Going through the court system for child custody can be a long, confusing, expensive and stressful process for families.  This process has been made more difficult by confusion about what factors the Court is looking at in making custody determinations and apparent redundancy in some of the factors.  Currently, there are 16 different factors that judges must review and weigh when making a custody determination.  These factors should be streamlined to provide parents and courts a more straightforward list. 
Our legislation aims to do this by incorporating language provided by the Joint State Government Commission Task Force on Domestic Relations Law into current law to decrease the number of factors from 16 to 12.  While the language still incorporates all of the current 16 factors, the Joint State Government Commission has recognized that using 12 factors will increase judicial efficiency when creating child custody records.  Our bill would provide judges and families with a more manageable list as they traverse the legal system. 
It is incumbent upon us to reevaluate our laws to identify and correct such issues.  These changes will create a simplified and approachable list of factors that families and courts alike will appreciate.  Please join us in co-sponsoring this commonsense, cost-saving, and time-saving legislation. 

Introduced as HB2018