Relocation: Moving with your Children
If a parent wishes to move out of state or more than 50 miles away and that parent shares decision making or custody of a minor child or children, the parent wishing to move may need to petition the court to get permission to move. If the other parent does not agree to a proposed move, the parent wanting to move should seek a court order for relocation prior to any move taking place. In certain circumstances, moving away with your own child, without providing notice to the other parent or obtaining a court order, may amount to kidnapping.
Relocation By Agreement
If the parties agree to the move, litigation may be avoided. Depending on the terms of the prior parenting plan or custody agreement, a new agreement, allowing the move and describing the terms and logistics, can be submitted to the court or otherwise entered into. Even if you are planning to move by agreement, you should still consult with an experienced relocation attorney to make sure you are in compliance with state law and prior court orders or agreements.
Common Reasons Why Parents Decide to Move:
- New Job
- Better School District
- Opportunities for Children with Special Needs
- Former Residence
- Bigger City or Smaller Town
- A New Relationship
- Closer to Parents or Family
- Closer to College Town
Some of the primary factors that will be considered in a relocation case include:
- Relationship Between Parents, Children, and Other Significant Persons to the Children
- Age and Needs of the Children
- Impact of the Move on the Children
- Feasibility of Preserving Relationships
- Preference of the Children
- Financial and Employment Factors
- Best Interests of the Children
There are many other factors a judge may consider in determining whether a relocation should be allowed. You should consult with a family law relocation attorney to discuss facts specific to your family’s circumstances and how they relate to these and other factors.
Relocation After Divorce
While some people choose to move or relocate during a divorce, another common time for a parent to file for relocation is during the first few years after the conclusion of a divorce. After the dust settles and the parties begin to further separate their lives, sometimes they come to realize that moving away and starting fresh, seeking a new opportunity, or gaining family support is what is best for them and their children. If you are thinking about moving, it’s important to discuss your goals and plans with an attorney experienced in the relocation process as soon as possible.
Opposing a Petition for Relocation
If a party wishes to object to a proposed relocation after being served with a petition for relocation, the party must object in writing and in conformity with the applicable Florida statues. If the objection is not proper, the relocation may be granted without further inquiry. It is crucial to the defense of a petition for relocation to timely file the appropriate paperwork. If you are served with a Petition to Relocate, you should contact an attorney immediately to discuss your rights and options.