How to win a child relocation case in Florida

After a parenting plan has been issued in Florida, steps must be taken before relocating with the child. Under Florida child custody law, a relocation means that the party is seeking to relocate with the children at least 50 miles away from their current residence. See Florida child custody law 61.13001.  The easiest way how to win a child relocation case in Florida is to obtain consent from the other parent. If both parents agree to the relocation it will make the process a lot easier.

If the parents are not in agreement the court will need to intervene to determine whether or not the proposed relocation is in the child’s best interests. In cases such as these, it is crucial to have a child custody attorney at your side to help win a child relocation case in Florida. If you are contemplating relocating or need to prevent a relocation contact a child custody attorney for assistance.

How to Win a Child Relocation Case in Florida When Both Parents Consent

In petitions for relocation, a Florida family law judge must evaluate the petition to determine if the proposed relocation is in the child’s best interests. If both parents agree to the relocation the judge will very likely grant the request. If there is no agreement on the relocation, the judge will apply Florida child custody law to determine if the relocation should be granted over the non-relocating parent’s objections.

The petition for relocation must include a description of the location of the intended new residence with the mailing address, the home telephone number of the intended new residence, the date of the intended move, the reasons for the intended move,  and the post-relocation schedule for time-sharing (Parenting Plan).  The petition must then be served on every other person entitled to access to and time-sharing with the child.

How to Win a Child Relocation Case in Florida When the Other Parent Objects

The judge must decide the outcome based on what the judge considers to be in the child’s best interests of the child. Under Florida child custody law, a Florida family law judge may consider the following:   (a) the nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the parent proposing the relocation and the other parent not relocating, (b) the age and developmental stage of the child, their needs, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s overall development, (c) the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating parent and the child through a substitute arrangement taking into account the difficulty the distance will create, (d) if appropriate, the child’s preferences, (e) whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the parent (f) both parent’s reasons for relocating or opposing the relocation, (g) the current employment and economic circumstances of each parent and if the relocation will improve the circumstances, (h) the relocation is sought in good faith, (i) the available opportunities to the objecting parent if the relocation occurs, (j) if there is a history of substance abuse or domestic violence as defined in Florida Statute 741.28, (k) any other factor affecting the best interest of the child or as set forth in Florida Child Custody Law 61.13.

In child custody cases, it is vital to understand how judge’s think and process these sorts of cases. A Florida family law judge will have a lot of discretion on how to apply the factors enumerated in the statute above. An experienced child custody attorney should be able to help present the facts of the case in a way that is most favorable to their client. If you are trying to figure out how to win a child relocation case in Florida contact a child custody law firm for legal counsel.

Don’t Resort to Self Help to Win a Child Relocation Case in Florida

It is highly recommended to not resort to “self-help” when trying to relocate with a child. Self-help refers to taking actions without the approval of the courts, figuring, “I’ll deal with that part later,” or “what they don’t know won’t hurt them.”  Moving outside of the fifty-mile radius without first obtaining court approval may be a violation of the parenting plan that can result in changes to your rights and responsibilities as a parent.

Similarly, if your ex relocates without telling you or obtaining court approval you should contact a child custody attorney for help right away. Family law judges do not want a parent to attempt remedy the situation on their own without seeking court intervention. Resorting to self-help can significantly impact your ability to win a child relocation case in Florida.

Tampa Child Custody Law Firm

If you are in the middle of a child custody relocation case or thinking about relocating call us today to speak with a child custody attorney. At Florida Law Advisers, we take these matters very seriously and will stand firm for what is fair. We have years of experience in both advocating for and against relocation. Our professional legal team is dedicated and passionate about these matters and will work tirelessly to help achieve the outcome you desire. To speak with a Tampa family law attorney at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763, we are available to answer your calls 24/7.

Petition for Relocation in Florida

We cannot necessarily plan for everything life throws at us and sometimes an unexpected move due to a new job, new relationship, or other life-change is a decision that comes about rather quickly.  A decision to move becomes even more complicated if you have kids that you raise according to a Court-approved parenting plan as a result of a divorce or paternity action.  Depending on the specifics of your move, or relocation, Court approval (and therefore the assistance of an attorney) may be needed. If court approval is required, you may need to petition for relocation in Florida.  For help determining if you need to petition for relocation in Florida contact a child custody attorney in Tampa for assistance.

Petition for Relocation in Florida & Long Distance Parenting Plan

You can petition for relocation in Florida and ask the court for a long-distance parenting plan should you wish to move (and move your children) more than fifty miles from the children’s principal place of residence.  The principal place of residence would have been established in the initial parenting plan and is most likely either the child’s mother’s home or the child’s father’s home, depending on the parent that has the majority of the time-sharing responsibilities according to the original parenting plan.  If you have not yet finalized your initial parenting plan that will be a part of an ongoing divorce or child custody you can petition the court to approve your petition for relocation in Florida as part of the case.

If you already have an established parenting plan, you’ll want to file a petition for relocation in Florida as soon as you are able. A child custody attorney can assist with filing the documents on your behalf and scheduling the appropriate court hearings to finalize the process as quickly as possible. You are not required to hire a child custody attorney but it is highly recommended to do so.

If you and the other parent are in agreement about the relocation, you may need to file a Notice of Intent to Relocate.  The Notice informs the court that you will be moving outside of the fifty-mile radius discussed above, but does not allow for arguments for or against the relocation.  Therefore, this filling is only appropriate when both parents are in agreement about the relocation.  See Florida Child Custody Relocation Statute 61.13001.

What to Include in a Petition for Relocation in Florida

Should you not be in agreement (in other words, your ex is fighting the relocation,) you should file a petition with the court asking for the Court to approve the petition for relocation in Florida.  Your petition for relocation in Florida should include various details about the relocation including the date of the move; where you are moving to; why you are moving and any documentation necessary to prove this (if it is for a sick relative – medical bills, if it is for a job – a copy of the job offer, etc.); your proposed changes to the parenting plan including how you plan to make visitation an option considering the distance; and formal notice. For more information on formal notice requirements click here.

Once the other parent has had a chance to formally respond to your petition for relocation in Florida, the court will likely hold a hearing on the issue.  The court will make its decision on a number of factors that will help the court decide what is in the best interest of the child/ren.  See Florida child custody case Mize v. Mize.  Relocation can be a difficult issue and it is important to speak with a qualified child custody lawyer before instituting any action that could change your custodial rights, especially any action that results in a hearing.

Petition for Relocation in Florida Don’t Use Self-Help

One of the most important aspects of relocation is to try to not resort to “self-help.”  Self-help refers to taking actions outside of the approval of the courts, figuring, “I’ll deal with that part later,” or “what they don’t know won’t hurt them.”  Moving outside of the fifty-mile radius without first obtaining court approval is a violation of the parenting plan that can result in changes to your rights and responsibilities as a parent.  All of family law is inter-connected:  a parenting plan affects time-sharing, time-sharing affects child support payments, and so on and so forth.

Likely a move of this nature would additionally affect your ex’s visitation rights, which could put you in further violation of the parenting plan.  Here are a few of the consequences you may find yourself subject to if you resort to self-help rather than going through the proper channels:  you could be responsible for your ex’s attorney’s fees, you may need to take a parenting class, you may need to forfeit some of your time with the child/ren in order to compensate for the time your ex lost, or other legal action the court sees fit to punish your violation.  Similarly, if your ex relocates without telling you or following the steps outlined above, you should call an experienced child custody attorney to help remedy the situation rather than trying to handle it yourself without Court intervention.

Tampa Child Custody Law Firm

If you need to relocate and modify your parenting plan call us today to speak with a child custody lawyer at Florida Law Advisers. Whether the parents mutually agree to the terms of custody or are engaged in a fierce battle for their child custody rights, we can help. Our team of experienced child custody and divorce lawyers are committed to providing top notch legal representation at a reasonable cost. If you need legal counsel call us today, we are available to answer your call 24/7.

Florida child relocation

Florida child relocation laws require that when a parent wants to relocate with a child more than 50 miles from their current residence they first obtain either consent from the other parent or court approval. See Florida Child Custody Statute 61.13001. Failure to obtain approval from the other parent or court before relocating can result in contempt of court. Further, a Florida family law court can compel the return of the child and take the parent’s actions into account when ruling on a petition to modify a parenting plan. Therefore, if you need assistance with a Florida child relocation case contact a child custody attorney in Tampa before relocating. An experienced Tampa child custody attorney can help draft all the necessary paperwork and navigate the case through the court system.

Florida Child Relocation with Consent From the Other Parent

Under Florida child relocation statutes, in order to be an effective relocation agreement both parents and all other parties entitled to access or time-sharing with the child must agree to the relocation. The agreement must be reduced to writing and include a parenting plan that outlines the time-sharing schedule for custody after the relocation occurs. Parents should also account for and describe the transportation arrangement related to time-sharing in the parenting plan. Moreover, in order to be legally effective, the agreement must be submitted to a court with competent jurisdiction and be signed by a judge.

Florida Child Relocation with No Consent From the Other Parent

If the other parent does not agree to the relocation the relocating parent must file a petition to relocate. Florida child relocation procedure will require the other parent and all other parties entitled to time-sharing be served with a copy of the petition. If no objection to the petition is filed within the time allotted under Florida Rules of Civil Procedure,  the court may grant the petition to relocate without an evidentiary hearing. If no objection is filed it will be presumed that the relocation is in the child’s best interests. See Florida Child Custody Case Porras v. Porras.

If the nonrelocating parent objects to the relocation there must be a hearing or trial before the relocation can occur. An objection to a petition for relocation must be verified and include the factual basis supporting the reasons why the relocation should be denied. Moreover, the objection must include a statement outlining the involvement that the nonrelocating parent has had with the child. The Florida child relocation objection process can be confusing without legal training, if you need assistance contact a child custody attorney in Tampa for counsel.

Florida Child Relocation Factors

If a valid objection is filed, there must be a hearing or trial before the relocation can occur. At the hearing, the relocating parent will have the burden of proving the relocation will be in the child’s best interests. If that burden is met, the burden then shifts to the nonrelocating parent to prove the relocation is not in the best interest of the child. You should consider retaining a Tampa child custody attorney to help litigate and advocate on your behalf.

When issuing a ruling the court will consider many factors such as:

  • The child’s preference
  • Whether or not the relocation will enhance the quality of life for both the relocating parent and child
  • The reason for the relocation or objection
  • The nature and extent of involvement both parents have had with the child
  • The impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development
  • The current employment and economic circumstances of each parent and whether the relocation is necessary to improve the economic conditions.

The above list is non-exhaustive, a court will consider many other factors in relocation cases. If you are interested in filing a petition to relocate or objecting to a relocation you should contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for specific advice regarding your case.

Child Custody Law Firm in Tampa

If you are in the middle of a child custody relocation case or thinking about relocating call us today to speak with a Tampa child custody attorney. At Florida Law Advisers, we take these matters very seriously and will stand firm for what is fair. We have years of experience in both advocating for and against relocation. Our professional legal team is dedicated and passionate about these matters and will work tirelessly to help achieve the outcome you desire. To speak with a Tampa child custody attorney call us today at 800 990 7763, we are available to answer your calls 24/7.