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Fort Lauderdale Parental Relocation

Once the divorce is finalized, parties can look into relocating to another location to start a new life. If the party has primary custody of the children, they are expected to relocate with them. However, relocation is not as straightforward as it sounds because there may be legal implications for the relocating parent, especially if the other parent is against the move.

child relocationThe Florida Statutes offer a guideline for Fort Lauderdale, FL residents who have undergone a divorce and plan to relocate with their children. The state wants both parents to remain active in their child’s life after a divorce. Time-sharing is always a part of the parenting plan arranged during the divorce. If relocation is planned by one party and both parents are granted time to spend with their child, arrangements should be made, and the court must be made aware of it.

Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys is a highly experienced Fort Lauderdale, FL family law firm specializing in child and parental relocation cases. Our Fort Lauderdale parental relocation lawyers can help either party with their relocation cases, assessing your situation closely and providing the legal assistance you need to deal with the case without additional complications. Whatever the decision, we will ensure that both parents can maintain a strong familial relationship with their child.

Call Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys at (954) 371-2993 for your Consultation with a Fort Lauderdale Parental Relocation Lawyer.

Definition of Relocation in Florida

child relocation lawyerUnder the Florida Statutes, relocation pertains to the change in the location of the primary residence of a parent from their principal residence cited in the last order, which established or modified time-sharing or in the filing while waiting for legal action for establishing or modifying time-sharing.

The new location must be at least 50 miles from the principal residence. They intend to live there for at least 60 days to help the child access better healthcare, education, or vacation.

Parents on a time-sharing agreement can sort out a relocation either by agreement or by seeking a court order.

Relocation by Agreement

If both parents and those who have access to or in time-sharing with the child agree to the relocation, they can sign a written agreement that highlights their consent and the time-sharing and access schedule for the non-relocating parent and other people who are given access or included in time-sharing schedules. Furthermore, the transportation arrangements will also be indicated in the written agreement.

child relocation lawyer If there is an existing cause of action or degree of record regarding the child’s residence or the time-sharing schedule, the parties can ratify the agreement through a court order without going into a hearing unless it is requested by one or all parties. The request for a hearing must be made within ten days after the date when the agreement is given to the court. If the hearing was not requested on time, it is presumed that all parties agree upon the relocation, it is in the best interest of the child, and the court can immediately ratify the agreement without a hearing.

Our Fort Lauderdale parental relocation lawyers can help you write the agreement and make sure that all parties are given a chance to identify the points they want the other party to remember clearly. We can also help you schedule the court hearing if you request it and get the agreement filed before the court.

Petition for Relocation

If an agreement is not entered into the court, a parent or another party seeking relocation must pass a petition for relocation and notify all the parties that have access to the child.

The petition must be signed under oath or affirmation, and it must include the following:

  • Description of the location of the proposed new residence, including the city, state, and actual physical address
  • The mailing address of the intended new residence if it is not the same as the physical address
  • The home telephone number of the new residence
  • The date of the intended relocation
  • A detailed statement regarding why they are relocating. For example, if it is due to a job offer, the petition should include the job offer from the company.
  • A proposal for the revised post-relocation schedule for time-sharing and access and the transportation arrangements that will allow time-sharing to persist. If there is no current or valid order which abates, terminates, or restricts access or time-sharing or access or good cause that predates the petition, failure to comply with the provision will make the petition legally insufficient.

The petition should be served to the other parent and all the other people entitled to have access to and have time-sharing with the child through the mail. If they fail to respond to the petition, it is presumed that the relocation is approved and in the child’s best interest. The order will then be expedited, so there is no need for a hearing. Meanwhile, if the response was filed on time, the other parent who plans to relocate with their child will not be allowed to do so until a hearing takes place and the court allows the relocation.

If a child is relocated without permission from the court, the violating party will be taken into contempt and will be ordered to return the child. Further action can be taken in terms of a modification of the existing parenting plan will be ordered, as well as fines and restitution.

Parents or parties seeking to relocate the child can request the court to prevent the disclosure of their location details under a public records exemption. The court will then modify the disclosure requirements of the case as part of the exemption.

Can’t grasp the legal process of filing a petition for your relocation? Don’t hesitate to ask our experienced and compassionate Fort Lauderdale parental relocation lawyers. They can help you understand the process and make the right legal action to correspond to their situation.

Temporary Orders on Child Relocation

In case the other party objects to the proposed relocation, their petition must be brought before the court and include why it must be prohibited. This petition should also include a statement detailing the time the objecting party takes to stay involved in their child’s life.

The court can order a temporary restraining order to prevent the relocation from taking place, seek the return of the child, or if the relocation has taken place, the following criteria must be met:

  • The petition to relocate does not have legal grounds
  • The relocation was done without a written agreement between both parties or does not have court approval
  • The presented evidence is not enough for the court to rule in favor of the relocation

On the other hand, a temporary order that will permit relocation may be granted by the court if the court finds:

  • The petition to relocate was done correctly and in compliance with the statute.
  • The evidence presented during the preliminary hearing shows that the court sees probable cause to approve the relocation.

Should a temporary order approving a relocation be issued before a final judgment is given, the court cannot use it as a factor that led to their financial decision regarding the relocation. The court will also need to require the relocating party to provide a reasonable financial and security plan for the child, and the relocating party will not interfere with court-ordered contact with the child.

Whether you contest the relocation or are granted temporary approval to relocate, our Fort Lauderdale parental relocation lawyers are on hand to assist you in fighting for a temporary order from the court. We can also question whether the ruling was made before the court’s final decision.

Factors to Determine Contested Relocation

When the hearing to decide whether relocation should be permitted or not takes place, the court evaluates several factors to make the decision, and they are as follows:

  • The nature of the child’s relationship with both parents, as well as the involvement of both parents in the child’s life
  • The child’s age and needs and the potential impact of the move on their physical, educational, and emotional development. The child’s special needs will also be considered.
  • The feasibility of preserving the current relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent with the help of new arrangements and the parties’ financial situation. The compliance of both parties with the substitute arrangements will also be assessed, especially if they will be out of the court’s jurisdiction.
  • The child’s preference, taking into account their age and maturity
  • Whether the relocation will improve the quality of life for both the parent or the non-relocating parent and the child, including the financial, emotional, and educational benefits it brings
  • Reasons of either party for seeking or opposing relocation
  • The employment and economic status of either parent and whether the relocation is key in improving the economic status of the parent who wishes to relocate with the child
  • The relocation is done in good faith and the extent to which the objecting party has fulfilled their obligations to the other party seeking relocation, including child or spousal support and other financial obligations.
  • The career opportunities available to the objecting party if the relocation takes place
  • The history of domestic violence or substance abuse, if there is one, and if they took rehabilitation and their current conduct
  • Other factors that may affect the child’s best interests

The court will also ensure that the parent who wishes to relocate must prove that their relocation will be in the child’s utmost interest. If the relocating party provides the burden of proof, the non-relocating parent must now show their evidence to prove that it will not benefit the child. Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys can assess your situation before the court hearings to see how we can defend or contest the relocation based on these factors that the court will use.

Approved Relocation and Hearings

When the court approves a relocation petition or agreement, the court can order the relocating parent to ensure that the nonrelocating parent has frequent and continued contact with their child. The contact arrangements should also be in the child’s best interest and financially affordable for the other party. The court may also set the costs that should be allocated between the parents and adjust the child support arrangements based on both parents’ transportation costs and financial situation.

Meanwhile, an evidentiary hearing seeking temporary or permanent relocation relief will be prioritized in the court’s calendar. For temporary relocation petitions, the hearing must occur no later than 30 days since it was filed. Meanwhile, if a notice for a nonjury trial is filed, it must occur no later than 90 days after it was filed.

Our Fort Lauderdale parental relocation lawyers will guide you through the entire process and make sure that the relocation arrangement takes into account your situation and monitor if both parties can keep up with the arrangements for your child’s benefit.

Talk To Our Legal Experts Today

Davis Logo 300x96 Fort Lauderdale Parental Relocation

Relocation can open many doors for all parties, especially for the children, after a divorce is decided. However, parents must ensure that their children can still have access to both parents even if they move to a different location. If the move brings up issues, legal action should be taken immediately to resolve them.

With Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys as your family law firm, you are assured that you will get all the legal support available to resolve any issues that may affect the relocation. We will also be with you in every step so that you can bounce back to adapt to the new situation no matter what result you get for the case.

Call Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorneys at (954) 371-2993 for your Consultation with a Fort Lauderdale Parental Relocation Lawyer.