Parent Relocation

Relocating for a new job in today’s economy has become increasingly common. Other reasons divorced parents seek to move and relocate include remarriage, more affordable housing, and a child’s needs. Over the years the burden has shifted to make it increasingly difficult to permit a Mother or Father to relocate and take the children away from a loving and involved parent. At Maritza Gonzalez, P.A. we understand the impact a parent relocation can have on children and therefore we help parents make decisions that will have a positive affect on their children.

If the family cannot reach an agreement about relocating a child, the new Florida relocation statute requires a hearing for the parent with the most timesharing under a parenting plan to move more than 50 miles away – unless the new home is still within 50 miles of the home of the parent with less timesharing.

Under the new statute a petition signed under oath describing the details of the move such as date, location, address, and reason must be filed by the parent seeking the relocation. The non-relocating parent then has 20 days to object. If there is no objection, the parent is free to relocate. However, if there is an objection, then the Court will order a fast track trial on the issue. The Judge will consider multiple factors, including:

• The nature of the child’s relationship with the relocating and non-relocating parent
• Age, development needs of the child
• The feasibility of continuing a meaningful relationship with the child
• Enhanced quality of life and opportunities for the child
• Reasons for filing or objection to the relocation
• Economic benefit (increased ability to provide for the child)
• Whether the non-relocating parent has faithfully fulfilled their support obligations
• Opportunities available to the non-relocating parent because of the move
• History of substance abuse (of either parent)
• “Other factors” impacting on the child’s well being

Whether you are seeking to relocate or challenging such a move as damaging to your relationship with your child, you will need an experienced and qualified attorney to present and argue your case to the Court. Please feel free to contact Maritza Gonzalez, P.A. to arrange a free consultation.