Discuss Your Options During Parental Relocation With A Local Lawyer In Oviedo And Winter Springs

Americans are more mobile than ever. If a parent who shares custody of a child wishes to move with the child far enough that it would impact the other parent's relationship with the child, the parent seeking to move must receive court approval.

The Florida Relocation Statute defines relocation as a change of principal residence of at least 50 miles and for at least 60 consecutive days. A parent seeking to move must either receive approval from the child's other parent in writing and have the agreement approved by the court, or file a petition to relocate with the court and have the relocation approved.

Aggressive Representation In Parental Relocation Cases

The experienced family law attorneys at Peppler Law P.A. represent individuals who seek to relocate, as well as parents who wish to defend against a request for relocation.

Relocation cases can take several months or even more than a year to resolve. It is important to notify your child's other parent as early as possible and begin the process of petitioning the court in order to provide ample time to have your request approved.

A petition for relocation must include the location of a new home, the date of a proposed move and the specific reasons for moving. It should also include a new proposed parenting plan with detailed transportation arrangements.

If you have received a notice from your child's other parent requesting the right to relocate, it is imperative that you respond within a certain time frame. Failure to respond may result in the court presuming that a move is in the child's best interest and allowing it without a hearing.

Factors That Are Considered By The Court

As with original agreements regarding parental time-sharing arrangements, Florida courts will consider what is in the best interests of the child. If the parent who is not relocating objects to the move, the relocating parent must present compelling evidence that the move will have a positive effect on the child. Factors the court considers include:

  • The reasons for relocation — improved educational opportunities, improved work opportunities, important extended family that may serve as a support system
  • The child's relationship with both parents as well as siblings and other relatives who are relocating or not relocating
  • If the child's relationship with the parent who is not relocating can maintain the same level of quality by developing a new parenting plan
  • The preference of the child, if the child is considered mature enough
  • The reasons why the parent who is not relocating objects to the move
  • Any history of domestic abuse or other endangerment that either parent may have caused

A parent who seeks to relocate out of spite for the other parent or to exact revenge is unlikely to be successful in obtaining court approval for the move. Along the same lines, a noncustodial parent who has been absent from a child's life and who has not met other parental obligations may have a difficult argument objecting to a custodial parent's request to relocate.

Contact An Experienced Central Florida Family Law Attorney

Relocating with a minor child is an extremely sensitive undertaking that is best handled by an experienced family law lawyer. If you have questions about divorce, child custody matters or relocating or defending a relocation, contact our Oviedo law office to schedule an initial consultation by calling 407-792-6697 or by completing an online contact form. We will review the facts of your case and recommend the best course of action.