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How To Win A Child Relocation Case In Florida

by Garry

We cannot always prepare for everything life throws at us. Sometimes situations will cause us to move suddenly without any intimation. Relocating becomes even more difficult if you have a parenting plan due to a divorce or paternity action. Depending on the reasons for your relocation, Court permission may be needed. For court permission, you may need to petition for relocation in Florida. A custody lawyer can help with filing the petition, if necessary.

Florida, child custody law, can require a parent to receive approval from their ex-partner or a judge before moving more than 50 miles away.

Do I Need To File a Custody Case To Move With My Child?

If you have already filed a child custody case, you will likely need to file a petition for relocation. After a parenting plan has been issued in Florida, measures must be taken before relocating with the child. Under Florida child custody law, relocation is any movement more than 50 miles away from the current residency. If the parents are not in the contract, the court will need to reconcile to decide the relocation. In these cases, it is essential to have a child custody lawyer at your side.

Relocation Without Court Approval

It’s good to hire a lawyer as self-help in relocation cases leads to taking the law into your own hands, regardless of court approval. Moving outside Florida without taking court approval can break the parenting contract. This can allow a parent to request a judge to changes your rights and responsibilities as a parent. It would also affect your ex’s visitation rights. If so, this could put you in further violation of the parenting contract. If you are found to be in contempt, the judiciary can impose penalties. These penalties can include but are not limited to:

  • Being ordered to pay the other parent’s legal fees
  • Attend court-ordered counselling
  • Loss of timesharing with the child 
  • Denial of the relocation request
  • Permanent changes to the parenting plan

Relocation With Approval From The Other Parent

To be an efficient relocation agreement, both parents must agree to the terms. Additionally, all other parties entitled to timesharing with the child must also agree to the relocation. The agreement must be modified to writing and include a parenting plan. The parenting plan must specify the timesharing schedule for custody after the relocation happens. Parents should also account for and describe the transportation arrangement related to timesharing in the parenting plan. Moreover, to be legally valid, the agreement must be presented in the court with competent jurisdiction. Lastly, the agreement must be approved by a family law judge.

Relocating When The Other Parent Objects

If the other parent disagrees with the relocation, the relocating parent must file a petition to relocate. The other parent and all other parties entitled to timesharing can serve their side too by filing the petition. If no objection to the petition is timely filed, the court may grant the petition to relocate without an evidentiary hearing.

Things To Include In a Petition For Relocation In Florida

The petition for relocation in Florida should include every detail about the relocation. The petition should include the date of the relocation, new address, and reasons for the relocation. Additionally, it should consist of a proposed parenting plan. The parenting plan should specify how you plan to utilize timesharing, considering the distance. 

After the other parent has had a chance to respond to your petition for relocation in Florida formally, a court hearing will be conducted. The judge will make the judgment based on the best interests of the child.

How To Win a Child Relocation Case in Florida 

If a valid petition is filed, there must be a hearing before the relocation can occur. The relocating parent needs to prove the relocation will be in the child’s best outgrowths. Therefore, you need to prove to the judge that the child will have a better life at the new location. An experienced lawyer will help identify the key issues the judge will be focusing on. Look into the factors that the judge can consider in a child custody relocation case are below.

  • The child’s choice.
  • Whether or not the relocation will improve the quality of life for the child.
  • The impact the relocation will have on the child’s, educational, and emotional development.
  • Each parents reasons for the relocation or objection
  • Each parent’s current employment and economic circumstances.

If you are defending a relocation, contact weingartfamilylaw today to speak with an expert family lawyer. They have years of experience in both advocating for and against relocation. 

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