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. Moving becomes even more complicated if you have a parenting plan as a result of a divorce or paternity action. Depending on the specifics of your relocation, Court approval 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
Florida law allows for petitions to relocate. If you move more than 50 miles away from the principle residence, you may need a long-distance parenting plan. The principal place of residence would have been established in the initial parenting plan. Most likely, it is either the 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, you can add the relocation to the case. Florida child custody law, allows you to petition the court to approve your petition for relocation in Florida as part of an active parenting plan or divorce case.
If you already have an established parenting plan, you should file the for petition for relocation in Florida right away. A child custody attorney can assist with filing the documents on your behalf and navigating the case through court. You are not required to hire a child custody attorney but it is highly recommended to do so.
If both parents are in agreement with 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. 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
If there is no agreement, you should file the petition for relocation in Florida without delay. The 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. Additionally, it should include a proposed parenting plan. The parenting plan should specify how you plan to make visitation an option considering the distance. Moreover, formal notice of the petition would be required. For more information on formal notice requirements click here.
After the other parent has had a chance to formally respond to your petition for relocation in Florida, a court hearing will be necessary. The court will make its decision based on the best interests of the child. 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
In relocation cases, it is important to not resort to self-help. Self-help refers to taking actions outside of the approval of the courts. Moving outside of the fifty-mile radius without first obtaining court approval can be a violation of the parenting plan. A violation such as this 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 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 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.