Florida's Relocation Statute
In our mobile society, people are constantly being transferred for occupational and personal reasons. People find opportunities a significant distance away and are often encouraged to change their current situation and relocate. When it comes to child custody situations, relocations can prove to be difficult if attempted without an attorney. In October 2006, Florida enacted a new relocation statute that has modified the current way that relocation is assessed.
When it comes to child custody, both parents are considered to equally share these rights. They are both, under typical circumstances, given the responsibility to make important life decisions that affect the child. Shared parental responsibility is the reason that one parent is not usually permitted to move a distance away without a major reason that benefits the child or family.
This move can impact the children and, therefore, one parent is not permitted to simply move away without the other's consent. If one parent has a legitimate reason to move in order to take advantage of an incredible opportunity, they must understand that this may not be granted.
For divorces or prenuptial / postnuptial agreements that were executed before October 1, 2006, you will have to follow the relocation restrictions contained in your agreement. If this law enactment has taken place after that date or your agreement does not discuss relocation, you will follow Florida's new relocation statute.
The new statute only allows for a 50-mile relocation radius that can occur without the consent of the other parent. If it is your desire to relocate outside of this radius, a petition must be filed with the court requesting permission to relocate. They must file an answer within 20 days with an objection response if they do not wish this relocation to occur. If they do not answer, then you have permission to relocate.
Factors Affecting Relocation
The requirements necessary for a successful relocation are not always easy to fulfill. One factor includes establishing the degree of involvement of the other parent in the situation.
- The person seeking relocation needs to have:
- A detailed plan for substitute timesharing after relocation
- A willingness to bear all transportation costs for visitation
- A legitimate reason for relocation that the court approves
He or she must also have the child's best interest in mind when it comes to the relocation. The non-relocating parent will also have to have certain factors in place if he or she desires to have an influential voice in the relocation matter.
- The concerns include:
- Involvement in the child's life
- Responsible timesharing practice
- Participation in the child's activities
These are qualifications that must be met in order for either parent to have his or her voice heard. It is essential to have a history of responsible parenting habits to be able to be regarded by the courts. What is in the best interest of the child is going to be the primary assessment for relocation. Therefore, what is in the best interest of the parent with whom the child spends the majority of his or her time is going to be the greatest influence in this situation.
The court understands the value of a child being raised by two parents and will only accept a relocation attempt if they see that it is best for the child. If you need assistance with your relocation attempt, it is important to retain me to be your child custody lawyer.
Contact my firm for more information on this issue.