Relocating children after divorce requires you to follow a specific procedure prescribed under Florida law. This process applies when you or the other parent in a time-sharing agreement plans to move farther than 50 miles away from your current location. It is possible to obtain permission to relocate by petitioning the family court or by reaching an agreement with the other parent. This article will outline your rights concerning child relocation after divorce.
How To Ensure Legal Child Relocation After Divorce
In Florida, even when co-parents are mutually agreeable to relocation, they have to ensure that the agreement conforms with Florida law. The law requires the agreement to be in writing, and it should account for transportation and other related expenses. Moreover, the arrangement should outline a revised parenting plan and receive sanction by a Florida court to be valid.
If you are the custodial parent moving, and the co-parent does not agree with your plan, you will have to serve him or her with a “Petition to Relocate.” This petition should include relevant information such as why, where, and when you are planning to move with the child. Also, child relocation after divorce will require you to submit to the Florida family court how you will address the new time-sharing issues in a way that doesn’t adversely affect the non-moving co-parent’s visitation.
Following your petition, if the other party does not object within 20 days, the court may determine that the relocation is in the best interest of the child and issue an order granting your petition. You must not relocate before the court enters this order, or you will be subject to penalties.
What the Court Will Consider
The court will consider several factors to determine whether relocation is in the child’s best interests. The court will review the evidence presented and hear testimonies. Therefore, for a successful resolution of your case, it is best to have a knowledgeable Florida divorce lawyer on your side to ensure an effective defense. However, the Florida family court will ultimately consider the opportunities that the relocation may provide for the child versus the potential advantages of the child remaining physically close to both parents provided both parents actively participate in the child’s life.
Pragmatic Advice for Moving Kids After Divorce
You should prepare a systematic plan if you wish to maximize your chances of achieving a post-divorce relocation with minor children. The earlier you begin strategic preparation, the more likely you will be able to execute your relocation.
As a first step, maintain a meticulous calendar or diary of the actual time-sharing between you and the co-parent. Make a note of each time the co-parent fails to utilize time-sharing opportunities or is late in picking up or dropping off the child, as well as occasions when the co-parent withheld the minor child from you.
Maintain a record of occurrences and events, including failure of the co-parent to keep you informed about a serious event, such as a physician appointment, refusal of the co-parent to allow for reasonable access to the child, such as through telephone contact, or any troubles the child may be experiencing due to the co-parent.
Schedule a Consultation With a Trusted Divorce Lawyer
If you or a previous partner are planning to relocate with a child after a divorce, then you need an experienced and professional divorce attorney to help you navigate this transition. The Law Offices of Patrick L. Cordero can defend your rights in this situation and assist you in the process of securing your child in the location that best serves their interests. Call us today at 305-445-4855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.