People sometimes want to move out of the area for personal or professional reasons. If they have children they intend to bring and wish to live separately from their co-parent, a move has significant repercussions for the children and the co-parent.
Parents who want to move or who oppose a move their co-parent wants to make should consult a Little Gables relocation lawyer immediately. The law permits a parent to move away from a co-parent with timesharing rights only under certain circumstances and a Judge will permit it only if they are convinced a move serves the children’s best interests. Working with a reliable family attorney ensures that the Judge will hear your point of view and give it proper consideration when deciding what is best for your children.
Parties Must Agree to Relocation
Florida Statute § 61.13001 governs parental relocation. A parent cannot relocate with the children just because they want to, even if they are sure the children will be better off in a new location. The parent who wants to move a child 50 or more miles away for more than 60 days must get approval from anyone who has timesharing rights before moving.
Although the parents and others who remain behind are rarely happy about a proposed move, many co-parents negotiate a change in their time-sharing plan rather than subject their children to the uncertainty and stress of a court battle. The parties can work together, with a mediator, or through a Little Gables relocation attorney to design a new agreement that permits the parent who stays behind to maintain as much contact with the children as possible.
The parents must submit the revised timesharing schedule to the court so the Judge can approve it. If neither parent objects to the new arrangement, courts presume the change is in the children’s best interests and issue the relocation agreement as a court order.
What Happens in a Contested Relocation?
Sometimes the parent who remains behind objects to a relocation or the parents could disagree on a revised timesharing plan. In that case, the parent who wants to relocate must petition the court seeking permission to remove the children and amend the parenting plan.
The request must explain in detail why the parent wants to relocate. If a job offer is part of the reason, the petition must include the written offer. The petition also must include a proposed timesharing plan that allows the co-parent to maintain their relationship with the children and addresses transportation issues. If the other parent responds objecting to the move, the court will hold a hearing and consider the following:
- Whether the relocating parent has a good-faith reason for the move or is trying to interfere in the other parent’s relationship with the children;
- The children’s relationship with each parent and with their school, community, and extended family in the area where they currently live;
- The proposed move’s impact on each child’s physical, emotional, and educational development;
- Any economic benefit the children might enjoy if the move takes place;
- Whether the party objecting to the move has fulfilled their obligations to the children and been an involved parent;
- Whether either party has a history of domestic violence or substance misuse, has attempted rehabilitation, and the success of rehabilitation attempts.
If the children are old enough to express a reasoned opinion, a Judge could consider their wishes about moving.
A Little Gables attorney could help a parent present their case for or against relocation. If the Judge rules the parent cannot relocate with their children, the parent must either leave the children behind with the co-parent or cancel the move altogether. If the relocating parent shifts custody to the parent remaining behind, they must agree on a revised time-sharing arrangement.
Contact a Little Gables Relocation Attorney Today
Life sometimes presents unexpected opportunities and it is not surprising that a person might want to pursue them. However, if the opportunity requires changing cities or states and you are a parent with a time-sharing arrangement, then you must get your co-parent’s agreement or the court’s permission before moving.
A Little Gables relocation lawyer helps whether you want to move or hope to keep your children nearby. Speak with The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm about your situation and set up a free case evaluation.