The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has announced amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure governing actions for custody of minor children. Under new Rule 1915.3, an unemancipated minor may commence or defend an action for custody of his or her child without having a guardian appointed. Rule 1915.3-2 has been amended to require any party to a complaint, petition for modification, counterclaim, contempt petition or count for custody in a divorce proceeding to file a verification regarding any criminal record or abuse history of that party or anyone living in his or her household. Rules 1915.12 and 1915.15 contain revised forms of a petition for civil contempt for disobedience of a custody order and a complaint for custody, respectively, which reflect the substantive rule changes. Finally, under amended Rule 1915.17 a party proposing to relocate a child must now provide notice of the relocation to any person with custodial rights only where the relocation will significantly impair the ability of a non-relocating party to exercise custodial rights.
All of the above rule changes are effective September 1, 2015, pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order dated July 20, 2015.