There comes a time when relocation becomes unavoidable. It may be an unfortunate result of a variety of events such as job transfer, marriage, or deportation. It becomes complex and more than a simple personal decision when child custody is involved. Not only are both parents of the child involved, the court and attorneys should be involved too.
In Florida, when a parent with the child’s custody intends to relocate away from the current residence to a distance of at least 50 miles with the child, consent of the court should be sought.
To win a relocation custody case –
The relocating parent should inform the other parent and obtain their consent. This is the easiest way of winning a relocation custody case. When both parents are in agreement, the entire court process becomes smoother.
Filing a petition requesting for relocation with the child is an integral part of the relocation process. To ensure you win the case, employ the services of an experienced Family Attorney. If both parents agree to the relocation, the court will then assess the petition based on the state’s child custody statutes.
In Florida, the relocation petition should include description of the new intended residence with the mailing address and telephone number, intention for relocation, intended date of relocation, and the post-relocation parenting plan. The attorney will help with the drafting, processing and serving of the petition.
If the non-relocating parent fails to consent to the relocation, the relocation process may get a bit murky. Your attorney should be on hand to help navigate that murky waters. It goes without saying that it will be easier to win the case with a good attorney’s assistance and knowledge. Yet, in the end, the final decision lies solely on the family law judge to determine who wins a disputed relocation case.
The judge’s decision must be founded on the child’s best interest. In Florida Child Custody law, there are certain considerations the judge must follow to arrive at a verdict.
- The nature, quality, extent of involvement and duration of the relationship between the child and the objecting parent and the relocating parent.
- The possibility of maintaining the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent.
- The age and developmental stage of the child, the child’s needs and the probable effects of the relocation on the child’s overall development.
- The child’s preferences, if applicable.
- Presence of any history of substance abuse or domestic violence.
There are many other considerations that determine which way the judge’s judgment will go. However, a favorable opinion when the items above are taken into consideration is vital for winning a relocation custody case.
Self-help is a no-no if you intend to win. You must seek the consent of the court and must not violate the court’s decisions and parenting plans. Any of these actions can automatically make you lose the case; resulting in changes in your responsibilities and rights towards the child.
On the other hand, if the other parent of the child relocates without meeting any of the above consideration and rules, the offending parent has made it easy for the other parent to win the relocation case.
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