Gainesville, Florida Custody and Relocation Attorneys
Are there any rules about whether I can move to another state or city with my children after I'm divorced?
Yes. Under Florida law, a parent must comply with certain procedures when seeking to relocate to a new address which is more than 50 miles from where they were living at the time a custody order was issued. It doesn't matter whether you want to relocate for a new job, family, or something else. The parent who wishes to move must provide a written notice to the other parent, who will then have 30 days in which to object. If the other parent objects, the parent who wishes to move must seek court approval.
How does a court decide whether I can relocate?
The Court is required to consider a number of factors when deciding whether one parent may relocate with children over the other parent's objection. These factors include:
- the quality of relationship between the children and the non-relocating parent;
- the age and developmental stage of the children, the needs of the children, and the likely impact of the relocation on the children;
- the proposed logistics of a post-relocation visitation or time-sharing schedule, and how those logistics may affect the relationship between the children and the non-relocating parent;
- the children's preference (if of sufficient age);
- whether the proposed relocation will enhance the quality of life of the parent or the children;
- the reasons for the relocation;
- the economic and employment circumstances of the parents;
- whether the relocation is sought in good faith, and whether the non-relocating parent has fulfilled all financial obligations (such as child support and alimony) to the relocating parent;
- the career opportunities for the non-relocating parent if the relocation occurs;
- any history of substance abuse or domestic violence with either parent;
- any other relevant factor.
The time varies. However, by law, requests for relocation are accorded priority on the Court's calendar.
What happens if a parent relocates with the children without following the legal procedures?
The Court can order any number of remedies, including an order that the child be returned immediately, a temporary or permanent change in the custody arrangement (parenting plan), or an award of attorney's fees.
If you have questions about parental relocation with children, call 352-240-1973 , or use the contact form at the right, to arrange a free consultation with one of the family law attorneys at The Law Office of Silverman and Vorhis.