When parents separate, they often raise their children in separate households and in some cases, this can contribute to a number of negative effects on the child. Stability during childhood years is integral to proper long-term development. As such, Florida family courts take seriously any cases involving child relocation.
The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates, our family law attorneys have the experience required to handle all types of child relocation cases. Our attorneys are well-versed in Florida family law litigation. Contact us today to ensure that your child’s rights — and your rights to your child — are protected.
How Does Child Relocation Work?
When a custodial parent — the parent who is given custody of a child by a court after a separation or divorce — decides to move the child to a different city or relocate out of state, it can disrupt the visitation rights of the other parent. It may also disrupt the relationship with the child and the noncustodial parent. Florida law requires custodial parents contact noncustodial parents to gain consent before relocation. If both parents approve of the move, they must submit a written statement to the courts.
The written statement must include the consent of family members who may have visitation rights, such as grandparents and godparents. In most cases, noncustodial parents are granted greater time with the child during special school breaks and holidays. After the relocation proposal is submitted and approved by both parents, the court will grant the custodial parent with the explicit permission to relocate with the child. Contact us to schedule a consultation with a Gainesville attorney today.
When Parents Disagree On Child Relocation
All child relocation cases are not so simple. Oftentimes, parents are not compliant with the custodial parent relocating the child. They may have bitter tensions with the custodial parent or they may feel concerned about the safety and well-being of the child. When these reservations are present, the overall process of child relocation can become complex and time-consuming.
If the noncustodial parent objects to the move, it is his or her responsibility to formally respond to the petition.If an objection is made, the case will be moved to a hearing or go to trial where a judge will make the final decision.
If the noncustodial parent makes no objection to the petition however, and there are no evidences of harm to the child, the judge will approve and permit the child relocation. The custodial parent has to file a petition to relocate with the court that includes basic information such as the following.
- New contact information
- Date of relocation
- Purpose for moving
- Co-parenting plan
Which Factors Determine Child Relocation Cases?
When determining to permit a custodial parent to relocate a child, Florida courts consider a number of different factors. The top priority is to protect the child’s health and safety, emotional and developmental needs, and overall happiness. Judges recognize that stability is a significant factor in a child’s life and can reject a relocation proposal due to any of the following factors.
- Past or current domestic abuse within the home
- Past or current child neglect, child abuse and/or molestation
- Inadequate consideration for the child’s health and education
Courts may also consider the following factors in deciding whether to permit or reject a child relocation request.
- Whether the move will hinder proper development
- If the relocation will benefit the child and custodial parent
- The effect of relocation on the child and noncustodial parent
- The reason(s) for the relocation objection
- The child’s feelings toward the move
- Co-parenting relations