Parental relocation can be a complex and emotionally charged issue for divorced or separated parents in Florida. While parents may have valid reasons for moving, doing so can significantly impact the lives of their children and their co-parenting arrangements. In this blog post, we will explore the legal aspects of parental relocation with children in Florida and provide insights into how to navigate this process while prioritizing the best interests of the child.
The Best Interests of the Child
Florida law places the best interests of the child at the forefront of any parental relocation decision. Courts use a set of factors to determine what is in the child’s best interests when considering relocation. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- The child’s relationship with both parents.
- The child’s age and developmental needs.
- The child’s preference (if they are mature enough to express one).
- The current quality of the child’s life.
- The reasons for the proposed relocation.
- Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.
- The feasibility of maintaining a meaningful relationship between the child and both parents after the move.
If a parent wishes to relocate with a child more than 50 miles away from their current residence, he or she must either receive consent from the non-relocating parent allowing the minor child to move, or the relocating parent must follow the legal process outlined in Florida law. A simplified overview of these steps includes:
- Notice: The relocating parent must provide written notice to the non-relocating parent, which must include specific information.
- Response: The non-relocating parent must respond to the notice. If they agree documentation must be filed with the Court to obtain an Order and if they object a court hearing will be necessary.
- Court Hearing: If the non-relocating parent objects to the move or if there are disputes regarding the best interests of the child, a court hearing will be scheduled. Both parents will have the opportunity to present their case, and the court will make a decision based on the child’s best interests.
Navigating the legal complexities of parental relocation in Florida can be challenging, and you don’t need to navigate the intricacies of the process alone. As experienced family law attorneys, we are here to assist you every step of the way, protecting your rights as a parent and working towards the best outcome for your child. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you find the best path forward.