Divorce and Child Relocation Lawyer in Orlando Protects Your Visitation Rights
Dealing with the issues of relocation with regard to time sharing agreements in child custody cases
Part of your plan to move on with your life after divorce might include moving to a new place to get a fresh start. However, when you have minor children, relocation after divorce, or while your divorce is pending can be a complicated process, which requires the agreement of your former spouse and possibly the court. Attorney David Scott Glicken is familiar with the relocation after the divorce process, and whether you and your co-parent agree or if there will be a conflict, he can help make your transition comply with the law and is as amicable as possible.
You are not free to pick up and move if you are the custodial parent and your co-parent has visitation with your minor child. If your intended move is more than 50 miles away and it will be for more than 60 days, there is a legal process that you must follow. You must demonstrate to the court that the move takes into consideration the best interest of the child. Although we are mainly addressing this problem from the perspective of a couple after or during a divorce, this is the same process you will follow if you are a single parent taking into consideration the visitation rights of your co-parent.
What is the relocation process a custodial parent must follow?
There are two approaches you can take when it comes to planning your move. It's not enough to have an informal agreement between you and your former spouse. According to Florida law, the agreement must be in writing. The first option is relocation by agreement. If the custodial parent and the co-parent agree to the move, they will draw up an agreement that outlines the new transportation arrangements for transporting the child back and forth. The Florida Supreme Court has approved a form, the 12.950(a) Agreement for Relocation with Minor Children, which must be completed, signed by all concerned parties, notarized and filed with the family court.
The second option is Petition to Relocate, and this option is covered in Section 61.13001(3). This is the course of action you must follow if your co-parent refuses to consent to the move. In this case, you would file a Petition to Relocate with the court, and you must also serve your co-parent with a copy of the documents. The other party has 20 days to respond. If there is no response within 20 days, you can file a Motion for Default.
If you are a non-custodial parent who has visitation with your child and your co-parent is planning a move that you object to, you must file a response to the Petition to Relocate within 20 days, giving specific reasons for your objections. If you do not file your response with your objections within the 20 days, the relocation will be granted.
Relocating with a minor child without complying with these guidelines can subject the party in violation to contempt.
What factors does the court consider in relocation after divorce cases?
In any child custody case, the primary factor the courts consider is the best interest of the child. The Florida statutes list close to a dozen factors that are taken into consideration with regard to relocation with minor children. Basically, the court looks at how the move will affect the child’s ability to maintain frequent and meaningful content with both parents. If the move is primarily job related and it will improve the economic circumstances of the parent who wishes to move, this will also be taken into consideration. Other conditions related to the case, including how it will affect the existing time-sharing schedule will also be considered.
The parent who wishes to relocate has the burden of proof that this move is in the best interest of the child. If the other parent objects, it is up to that parent to prove that the move is not in the best interest of the child.
Clearly the issue of relocation after a divorce has the potential to create a contentious situation. Attorney David Scott Glicken will work with you and help you present a strong case to the court and protect your rights to parenting time with your child.
Contact our family law attorney today to discuss your relocation plans and how they might impact your parenting plan and time-sharing agreement
The Glicken Law Firm has experience in all aspects of time sharing and relocation after a divorce. He can help you negotiate a mutually agreeable solution that is in the best interest of the child. Call us at (407) 648-5400 to schedule a consultation or contact us online today.