We are living in a much more mobile society today than we did a decade or two ago. Parents move because of their job, education or health. Some move to be closer to family or to simply get a fresh start after a divorce. However, when children are involved, moving becomes much more difficult. Because youngster relocation has become an increasingly larger issue in family courts, Florida enacted laws specifically related to the question of child relocation.
When parents are discussing the terms of the parenting plan and time-sharing agreement, they often discuss when and under what circumstances a child can be taken out of state or out of the country. This usually is limited to vacations as child relocation is typically a very sensitive subject that neither parent will agree to willingly.
Under Florida Statute §61.13001, a parent must file a notice of relocation if the parent wants to move the child move than 50 miles away from the child’s current residence. The other parent has 30 days after being served with the notice to file an objection with the court. When a child relocation is challenged, the parent wishing to relocate the child must provide evidence that the relocation is in the best interest of the child. This evidence may include facts that affect the child’s life such as financial, social, education, religious and cultural. The parent must also present a parenting plan and timesharing plan that takes into consideration how the non-custodial parent will continue to be an active participant in the child’s life.
However, the parent who is objecting the child relocation notice should also be prepared to present evidence to the court that substantiates the claim that the relocation is not in the best interest of the youngster. The court will always act to protect the best interest of the youngster. It does not presume that either parent is correct when a child relocation notice is filed or when an objection is filed. The court will weigh all of the evidence presented by both parties and use this information to determine what is in the best interest of the youngster.
Moving your child out of the country may even be more difficult due to the fact that the other parent will probably have very limited visitation with the youngster and you are asking the court to place the youngster in a different culture. However, depending on the circumstances, the court may find that it is in the best interest of the child to move out of the country with a parent. If you are considering a move with your child, you need to contact our office as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and responsibilities with regard to child relocation.
Lewert Law Offices, P.A., is a full service Boca Raton Family Law firm providing expert legal advice and representation in all aspects of marital and family law representing clients throughout Broward County and Palm Beach County. Tina L. Lewert, Esq. is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Marital & Family Law. She is also a highly-skilled mediator who has been certified by the Florida Supreme Court.
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