How to Succeed in a Florida Relocation Case
Relocating with a child after a divorce can be complicated and stressful for everyone. In an effort to help alleviate the stress of relocation, we’ve outlined important factors that Florida Family Law Courts take into account when deciding whether or not to allow a parent to relocate with their child.
Before we get into the factors, it is important to note that there is no presumption in favor of or against a parent relocating with a child in Florida. If one parent contests the request to relocate, the courts will consider the following factors when making their decision.
(a) Relationship with Parents
The court considers the nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the relocating parent or other person proposing to relocate with the child and with the non relocating parent, other persons, siblings, half-siblings, and other significant persons in the child’s life.
(b) Child’s Age and Current Needs
The age and developmental stage of the child, the needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child.
(c) Feasibility of Preserving Relationship
The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non relocating parent or other person and the child through substitute arrangements that take into consideration the logistics of contact, access, and time-sharing, as well as the financial circumstances of the parties; whether those factors are sufficient to foster a continuing meaningful relationship between the child and the non relocating parent or other person; and the likelihood of compliance with the substitute arrangements by the relocating parent or other person once he or she is out of the jurisdiction of the court.
(d) Child’s Preference
The child’s preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child. Is the child 6 and of a tender and impressionable age or 16 and capable of making his own decisions? If the child is not old enough or mature for his age, the court will need to make its judgment without much input from the child.
(e) Quality of Life
Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for both the parent or other person seeking the relocation and the child, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefits or educational opportunities.
(f) Reason for Relocating
The reasons each parent or other person is seeking or opposing the relocation.
(g) Current Employment and Economic Circumstances
The current employment and economic circumstances of each parent or other person and whether the proposed relocation is necessary to improve the economic circumstances of the parent or other person seeking relocation of the child.
(h) Good Faith
That the relocation is sought in good faith and the extent to which the objecting parent has fulfilled his or her financial obligations to the parent or other person seeking relocation, including child support, spousal support, and marital property and marital debt obligations.
The career and other opportunities available to the objecting parent or other person if the relocation occurs. See answers above for clarity and examples.
(j) Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence
A history of substance abuse or domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28 or which meets the criteria of s. 39.806(1)(d) by either parent, including a consideration of the severity of such conduct and the failure or success of any attempts at rehabilitation.
(k) Other Factors
Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child or as set forth in s. 61.13. As stated above, the best interests of the child are paramount in a family law case.
It is important to have experienced legal counsel whether you are seeking to relocate or you are challenging a relocation request by the other parent. Whether your rights as a parent are covered under a child custody and visitation agreement or a recent parenting plan, the lawyers of Brodie & Friedman, P.A., can advise you on your options and protect your interests in court. For additional information, contact us and schedule a consultation.
With over 30 years of combined experience, Jason Brodie Esq. and Joshua Friedman Esq. will guide you toward realistic goals and provide committed advocacy toward achieving them. They are known throughout South Florida for dedicated client service, tenacity, and success in complex divorce litigation involving property division, child custody, and spousal support.
To get a better understanding of the qualities our reputation is built on, contact our office in Boca Raton to schedule your initial phone consultation (561) 392-5100