Published on:

Relocating Out-of-State With Your Child When that Move is an Involuntary One

When you and your former spouse or partner share a child, there can be some very special logistical hurdles you have to navigate. That is especially true if you have to move away from your current home and seek to bring your child with you to your new home. Many times, these issues come up because a parent has a job-related or family-related need that makes them choose to relocate. However, what happens if your relocation is not voluntary, such as parents who are facing deportation? Regardless of why relocation happens, be sure you follow the rules necessary to relocate with your child. An experienced Florida family law attorney can provide you with the representation you need when it comes to the legal processes of child relocation.

A Florida couple from Indian River County recently found themselves facing this type of case. The wife was a citizen of the Philippines and received a Green Card when she and the husband married. The marriage lasted only a little more than two years before the husband filed for divorce.

The trial court, in addressing issues of custody and timesharing, recognized that the mother’s future circumstances were uncertain. Her citizenship application was still pending. If the government denied the application, the mother would be deported. The trial judge decided that, if the federal government deported the mother, then she would be entitled to take the daughter with her to the Philippines.

The father filed an appeal and won a reversal of the trial judge’ decision. The key to this outcome was a statute, Florida Statutes Section 61.13001, which pertains to parental relocations with children. That law establishes the processes that a parent must go through if she wants to relocate with a child and that relocation is more than 50 miles from the current residence.

The trial judge in this couple’s case concluded that the mother did not have to meet the requirements of the relocation statute because her relocation (if it happened) would be an involuntary relocation and Section 61.13001 only applied to circumstances where the parent and child were making a voluntary relocation.

The appeals court ruled that this was incorrect. Florida does not give a parent facing involuntary relocation any special advantages when it comes to going through the legal process of seeking approval to take the child with her. The appeals court explained that, even when a parent is facing something as compulsory as deportation, in which she has basically no choice, that lack of choice does not give her an automatic entitlement to relocate with the child. She must still ask for permission to relocate and the court must still apply the standards required by Section 61.13001 before allowing the relocation of the child.

Whether you are dealing with an issue of child relocation, child support, timesharing or some other matter, knowledgeable Miami family law attorney Sara Saba can help. Attorney Saba has been providing reliable advice and strong advocacy 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:

How to Go About Resuming Unrestricted Timesharing with Your Child Following a Florida Court Order of Supervised Visitation, Miami Divorce Lawyer Blog, June 29, 2018

What the Law Does (and Does Not) Allow Courts to Do in Florida Child Custody and Timesharing Disputes, Miami Divorce Lawyer Blog, May 17, 2018