There is a multitude of reasons the primary parent of a child will have to move to a new location with the child. A job relocation, familial obligations, and a new job entirely are just a few of the common causes of a significant move. When the parents of a child/children are divorced or do not live together, and the primary parent is facing a possible change in residence, what are the procedures and allowances that need to be followed? Florida law is very specific in outlining what a parent can do to relocate a child to an alternate jurisdiction. Relocation, or change of domicile of a child is often petitioned along with determinations of child custody and other parenting determinations, such as visitation. A parent cannot just leave the current home state of the child with said child without legitimate reasoning because the non-custodial parent still has a right to have meaningful contact with the child. If a parent wants to move more than 50 miles from the other parent, he or she must petition the court for permission. Many factors are pertinent to the judge’s decision in granting the relocation, but an effort by one parent to deny parenting time to the other parent by moving further away is a key factor.
Putting the child/children’s best interests first is at the heart of the relocation or change of domicile ruling. Expert Family Law Attorneys, like the Marquez-Kelly Law Firm, must present Family Law Judges with evidence of key determination components. Chief among determining factors is the concern that the non-custodial parent will be able to maintain a parenting relationship. If the relocation is considerably far, matching the same amount contact with the non-custodial parent as before the move can cost a lot of money and travel time. The court will take these factors into account when a petition for relocation is considered. History of domestic violence will also be a key factor, as well as what the non-custodial parent can offer to the children in the way of meeting the needs of the children’s regular activities. In some cases, the parents of the child/children may come to an agreement about the relocation in a written document that lays out the terms and specificities of the move and revised custody agreements. In this case, the agreement would need to include that both parents agree to the terms in the document, a time-sharing schedule for the non-custodial parent, and how the parents will deal with transportation of the child for visitations. This is the easiest and least time-consuming route for a relocation agreement, but it is not the only option. If the non-custodial parent fights the relocation, the determination will be made in a hearing or trial. Any petition involving where a child lives and how much time they get to spend with each parent is always a sensitive issue to discuss, and everybody wants the best possible outcome for the child’s best interest. The attorneys with Marquez-Kelly Law Firm will lessen your concerns by handling these cases with care and determination.