Divorce often can be an extremely emotionally trying time for any couple, and especially so for couples with minor children. Those stresses and challenges can frequently be amplified even more if one parent desires to move far away and take the children with her or him. Ideally, the parents will be able to work cooperatively for the benefit of the children. When they cannot, though, it becomes necessary to involve the court system. Whether you are the parent seeking the relocation or the parent opposing it, it is important to make sure you have skilled Florida child custody counsel on your side to advise you and, when necessary, advocate for you to protect your family and your relationship with your children.
Florida has a statute specifically dedicated to the process of parents relocating with their children. This relocation statute only applies if the distance of the relocation is at least 50 miles. Thus, if you are, for example, moving from Coconut Grove to Boca Raton, you don’t need the court’s permission. If you are moving from Coral Gables to Palm Beach Gardens, you do need court approval, or else an agreement with your child’s other parent.
The statute says that there are multiple ways to relocate. As noted above, you can work out a mutual agreement between you and the child’s other parent. If you find yourself using the court option, it is important to bear in mind that the statute demands the submission of several pieces of information before the judge will consider your request. You must provide the court with the exact location to which you are moving and the specific reasons why you are making the move with the child. If your reasons center primarily around a job offer, and that offer has been made in writing, the court is going to need a copy of that written offer.
Additionally, your court papers must include your proposed plan for dealing with timesharing in your post-relocation situation. That means proposing a post-relocation timesharing schedule, which includes a proposal for dealing with the transportation issues presented by a long-distance timesharing circumstance.
The statute also provides a list of 11 factors that the court can use as criteria for determining whether or not the relocation should be allowed. These include things like the child’s relationship with the relocating parent, the age, maturity, and development of the child, the impact on the child’s education and development, the child’s preference, the parents’ career options, and the financial and emotional benefits of moving (among other things).
Once the parent requesting permission for relocation sufficiently makes her or his case, the opposing parent has an opportunity to present his or her side and overcome the evidence in favor of relocation. That proof must be substantive. Last year, the Fourth District Court of Appeal threw out an order denying a mother’s relocation with the children to Virginia. The mother’s proof had included her lower amount of travel if she lived in Virginia. She also brought out evidence of the father’s compulsive gambling. The father promised to attend Gamblers Anonymous and work more diligently to avoid gambling. The appeals court explained that a promise of a change in a parent’s future behavior isn’t enough to overcome the other parent’s proof in favor of relocation. The father needed proof that met the criteria of the statute, instead of just a “promise to do better.”
If you are involved in a case regarding the relocation of your child, the case is obviously one of paramount importance to you. To make sure that the interests of your loved ones and you are properly protected, reach out to knowledgeable Miami child custody attorney Sara Saba, who has been providing helpful results for her clients for more than 13 years. Our team is dedicated solely to meeting your family law needs. Contact us online or by calling (305) 450-8009 to schedule your consultation. Hablamos Español.
More blog posts:
New Law Gives Divorcing Spouses More Options in Florida, Miami Divorce Lawyer Blog, March 29, 2018
High-Earning Celebrities Blake Griffin, Britney Spears Both Find Themselves in Child Support Disputes, Miami Divorce Lawyer Blog, March 23, 2018