After a divorce or some other court order declaring which parents have responsibility and time-sharing privileges with a child (also called “custody” and “visitation”) in Florida, there often comes a time when one parent seeks to move and take the child along. If the parent seeking to move with the child wants to move 50 miles from the current residence for at least 60 consecutive days (and is not for reasons of vacation, health care, or education), and the other parent retains at least some time-sharing rights with the child, then the parent seeking relocation will have to get approval from a Florida court prior to doing so, and failure to do so can place that parent in contempt of court. If both parents agree, the process is easier, but if the non-relocating parent does not agree with the move, the process can be more complicated. The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A. helps parents in filing written agreements for relocations with the Florida courts, and also represents parents who are either seeking contested relocations or attempting to prevent a relocation.
When the Parents Agree on the Move
Even where both parents agree with the move, a court order should still be obtained, and failure to do so could result in significant legal penalties for a parent that moves without an order. Where there is agreement, both parents should sign a written agreement which includes:
- Both parents’ consent to the relocation
- A description of what the new time-sharing arrangement will be following the relocation
- If necessary, any transportation arrangements that will apply
Our office will help you put together a written agreement and file it with the court, and can also contact the other parent to obtain his or her consent to the agreement to promote a quick and drama-free relocation. Courts will generally approve a properly filed, comprehensive written relocation agreement without the parents having to appear in court.
When the Parents Do Not Agree on the Relocation
If the parents do not agree on the relocation, then the parent seeking the relocation will have to file a petition in court asking for approval of the relocation and also serve it on the other parent. This petition will have to include:
- Information about the proposed place of relocation, including physical address, mailing address, and phone number
- The date of the proposed relocation
- The reasons for the proposed relocation, such as a new job or being closer to family members, and supporting evidence such as a written job offer
- A proposal for the revised postrelocation schedule for access and time-sharing together with a proposal for the postrelocation transportation arrangements necessary to effectuate time-sharing with the child
The other parent will then have the opportunity to respond to this petition by filing an objection with the court and serving it on the other parent. This objection should include all the reasons why that parent is opposing the relocation, and should also state how much time the opposing parent is spending with the child and his or her level of involvement with the child.
The parents will appear before the court, and the court will make its determination on whether to approve or deny the petition to relocate based on a number of factors related to the best of the child (and not the best interests of the parents), which include many factors such as:
- Each parents’ relationship with the child
- How the proposed move will affect the child’s life with regard to education, contact with family, etc.
- The feasibility of promoting ongoing contact of each parent with the child
- The proposed reasons for and against the move
- The preference of the child
By working with an experienced Florida family attorney, you will have skilled counsel on your side to present your best arguments to the court either in favor of or against the move. At The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A., we have significant experience with Florida family law and will pursue every legal strategy to promote your interests and the ongoing relationship between you and your child.
Legal Help in Your Florida Child Move Away Matter
Whether you are seeking to move to a different location with a child or are seeking to prevent another parent from moving away with your child, The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A. in Miami can help. Contact our office today to set up a consultation with a trusted and caring family law attorney.
At The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A., we know your relationship with your children is one of the most important aspects of your life. You want the best for them, but when you and your children’s other parent are not a couple, determining your ability to be a part of their lives – both in terms of your living arrangement and your ability to make important decisions on their behalf – becomes a matter of Florida law, and the Courts and other attorneys get involved. To make sure the rights of you and your children are protected, you need a trusted attorney on your side.
Child custody decisions are based on the court’s determination of the best interests of child. We will work to protect your relationship by making your best arguments in negotiation and at trial.
Florida law provides guidelines on how much support must be paid based on several factors. We will make sure that your financial interests and needs are fairly presented in all matters.
How We Can Help In Your Matter
Florida law regarding child custody and support can be confusing, and judges have significant discretion. But help is available. At The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A., we will guide you in the following area of family law::
Child Support Payments
Modification of Support / Custody
You are Not Alone in This
Many parents attempt to go it alone when it comes to child custody and support matters, but this approach can have disastrous consequences. Custody and support determinations generally stay in place until a child reaches age 18 – although either party may petition for modification – meaning the decisions that a judge makes can have an enormous financial and relational impact for years.
Because Florida law is complex, it is in your interest to work with a knowledgeable family law attorney. The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A. is here to help you in any way we can.