In the event of a job change, an eviction, a subsequent re-marriage, the purchase of a new home or even the simple desire to move can create the need for a parent to relocate following a divorce or paternity action. However, if the parents share parental responsibility of any minor children or participate in a parenting plan and relocation with children create some difficulties.
A parent must notify the other parent in writing of their intent to relocate. This must include the address where the relocation will be, as well as a proposal for timesharing and transportation that preserves the relationship that the children have with both parents. The parent that is not relocating typically has thirty (30) days to challenge the move and if they fail to properly challenge the relocation, they may forfeit the right to challenge the move.
In reaching its decision regarding a proposed temporary or permanent relocation, the Court will evaluate all of the following factors as set forth in Florida Statutes 61.13001:
- The nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child's relationship with the parent or other person proposing to relocation with children and with the nonrelocating parent, other persons, siblings, half-siblings, and other significant persons in the child's life.
- The age and developmental stage of the child, the needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child's physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child.
- The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating parent or other person and the child through substitute arrangements that take into consideration the logistics of contact, access, and time-sharing, as well as the financial circumstances of the parties; whether those factors are sufficient to foster a continuing meaningful relationship between the child and the nonrelocating parent or other person; and the likelihood of compliance with the substitute arrangements by the relocating parent or other person once he or she is out of the jurisdiction of the court.
- The child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child,
- Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for both the parent or other person seeking the relocation and the child, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefits or educational opportunities.
- The reasons each parent or other person is seeking or opposing the relocation.
- The current employment and economic circumstances of each parent or other person and whether the proposed relocation is necessary to improve the economic circumstances of the parent or other person seeking relocation of the child.
- That the relocation is sought in good faith and the extent to which the objecting parent has fulfilled his or her financial obligations to the parent or other person seeking relocation, including child support, spousal support, and marital property and marital debt obligations.
- The career and other opportunities available to the objecting parent or other person if the relocation occurs.
- A history of substance abuse or domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28 or which meets the criteria of s. 39.806(1)(d) by either parent, including a consideration of the severity of such conduct and the failure or success of any attempts at rehabilitation.
- Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child or as set forth in s. 61.13.
If you are planning to relocate or are challenging the relocation of the other parent, it is essential that you contact a veteran family law attorney who can assist you. At Segarra & Associates, we have the experience necessary to give you a legal edge. We will ensure that all paperwork is filed properly and will work hard toward a positive outcome that is in the best interests of your children.
Contact us for a consultation regarding your relocation case. We are committed to giving your case our full attention and are available now to speak with you. Call us today. (305) 742-5042.