No. 1021 Philadelphia, 1983, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Monroe County, Civil Division, at No. 648 Civil 1983.
Marshall E. Anders, Stroudsburg, for appellant.
Mark S. Love, Stroudsburg, for Kenneth Aldridge, appellee.
Richard E. Deetz, Stroudsburg, for Monroe County, appellee.
Cavanaugh, Brosky and Popovich, JJ.
[ 326 Pa. Super. Page 51]
The sole issue before us in this appeal is whether the lower court erred in transferring the instant custody proceedings to the State of Kentucky. Finding the order to be consistent with the provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act,*fn1 (UCCJA) we affirm.
This action was commenced by the appellee, Kenneth Aldridge who is the father of the subject children, Elizabeth and Kenneth, and the former husband of appellant, Faith Aldridge. Mr. Aldridge filed a complaint seeking custody of the children in Monroe County.
The complaint alleged, and the answer admitted, that the father resides in Louisville, Kentucky. The complaint also averred that the mother resided in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, but she denied this in her answer and instead said that she resided in Toms River, New Jersey. The mother admitted that until May of 1982 the children resided with the parents in Kentucky, but averred that from May of that year until August 30, 1982 they resided with the mother.
[ 326 Pa. Super. Page 52]
At a hearing held on April 15, 1983 it was disclosed by a case worker for the Children's Bureau of Monroe County that Elizabeth and Kenneth had been placed in foster care on August 30, 1982, at which time their mother was hospitalized in the psychiatric unit of a hospital. The case worker then testified as to what she perceived to be the best interests of the children.
The father also testified and at the conclusion of his testimony the court asked counsel to research the law concerning jurisdiction because the court was concerned that this case would be more properly resolved in Kentucky. The court concluded that the case should indeed be transferred and so ordered. The court also directed that the custody in the Children's Bureau should be terminated and that custody be given temporarily to the father, who was to return with the children to Kentucky and post a bond to ensure his compliance with the order.
Appellant contends that the court should have retained jurisdiction over the case since both parties consented to it and that its order deprived her of her due process rights and was in contravention of the terms of the Child Custody Act.
The Act, provides in relevant part at 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5348:
(a) General rule. -- A court which has jurisdiction under this subchapter to make an initial or modification decree may decline to exercise its jurisdiction any time before making a decree if it finds that it is an inconvenient forum to make a custody determination under the circumstances ...