So you want to move. Or your ex wants to move. And one of you wants the child to come too. These are difficult conversations. In today’s economy, very few people stay in one place. But with two parents with different custody of a child, this can all be very complicated. Do not try to go it alone – and do not make any decisions, promises, threats or plans before speaking to an experienced Miami family lawyer at Grant Dwyer Law.
Florida laws are strict about child relocation. You cannot take your child somewhere more than fifty miles from where he is living now unless:
- both parents agree and the other parent puts it in writing, or
- a court gives you permission
These rules do not apply to vacations.
In setting up your current custody arrangement, there may already be a timesharing agreement. If both parents agree to the relocation, this timesharing agreement can be modified. It can cover visitation and travel and all the other issues that will now be part of your reality. If there is such an agreement, usually one well written by family law attorneys, a Miami court will likely accept it as in the best interests of your child.
Parents do not always agree, however, and that is likely why you are reading this page. In the event of disagreement, the parent who wants to move must file a Petition to Relocate. This must then be served on the other parent, who can file an objection. If no one does file an objection, the court will agree to the move. If there is an objection, the moving parent has to prove to the court why such a move is in his child’s best interest.
The court will listen to evidence like:
- why one parent wants to relocate
- what job or employment opportunities exist
- how old your child is
- how much each parent is involved in the child’s life
- whether the move would offer the child good things in life
- and a number of other factors the courts can consider
After entertaining all evidence the court will either allow the relocation or deny it, and will adjust things like timesharing and child support accordingly. Remember, the courts will always use a “best interests of the child” standard to make decisions. If it seems to the court that one parent is trying to deprive the child of the other parent’s presence, or downplaying or de-valuing the other parent’s contributions, the court will not look kindly on a petition. The courts want, more than anything, to support the best things for the child. A good family law attorney will be able to explain to the court all the reasons why the move is or is not the best thing.
If you are considering a move, or fear your child’s other parent is considering a move, contact a skilled Miami family lawyer at Grant Dwyer Law as soon as possible. Moves can uproot everything in your life. Being stuck in the wrong place can be an equal disaster. Be prepared and be well represented.
Call us at 305-215-7586 or click HERE.