In Florida, the subject of divorce, time sharing, and child custody can be tricky. If you have custody of your child, but plan to move over 50 miles away for over 60 days, you must inform the child’s other parent and get consent. If this consent is not received by the other parent, you have to acquire a court order.
There are several possible outcomes for this situation, typically dependent on how the other parent views the move. Sometimes, this results in a legal battle.
According to Florida Statute 61.13001, if you are planning to relocate with your child and you don’t comply with this statute regarding the petition for the relocation, you may face charges of contempt along with other proceedings and may be required to return the child to the state. If you are in non-compliance, your parenting plan or time-sharing schedule may also be modified.
Handling Relocation When Both Parents Agree
Regardless of the situation, it’s necessary to have a written statement showing that the other parent agrees to the move. This agreement must be submitted to the court. It has to show the noncustodial parent’s approval for the move, changes to the time-sharing and/or visitation schedule, and transportation methods being used for visitation. If there is anyone else in the family who has visitation rights to the child, such as an aunt or grandparent, they must agree to the upcoming move in writing, too.
Handling Relocation When One Parent Disagrees
If the parent that is not moving doesn’t agree with the move, the moving parent is required to file a petition with the court to have the move allowed. The petition includes various information, including the reason for the move, specific location (including physical and mailing address and phone number), a visitation proposal and time-sharing schedule after the move, a notice that informs the non-custodial parent on their rights to object to the petition and how to do so.
If the non-custodial parent does not respond to the petition, the judge will allow the move (in most cases) if it is in the best interest of the child. If the non-moving parent does respond, the case will move forward to a trial or hearing.
What Factors Impact the Court’s Decision?
Judges in Florida are no different than anywhere else. They are going to make their decision about the move based on what is best for the child. With that in mind, while making their decision, the judge is going to consider how the move is likely to affect the relationship the child has with friends and family I the area, and how it will effect their emotional, physical, and mental development and health. They will also consider the non-custodial parent’s objection.
Hire an Attorney for Help
If you are facing an issue related to relocation and time-sharing in the state of Florida, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help with the court proceedings. Doing so is going to help ensure you know your rights and that you follow the right process to ensure everything is handled according to the law.
If you need help with your relocation case, reach out to our legal team at Lewert Law, LLC by calling (561) 544-6861.