Parental relocation in Florida can be a very contentious and complex issue. Therefore, you need a parental relocation attorney who can present your case to the court in the most effective way possible.
One thing you need to understand is that generally, under Florida law, you can’t move the child’s principal residence address more than 50 miles away without the other parent’s consent or the court’s authorization.
If the other parent consents to the relocation, an oral agreement will not suffice. The agreement must be in writing and must reflect the other parent’s consent to the relocation, define his/her access or time-sharing schedule, and describe the transportation arrangements related to the time-sharing.
If the other parent objects to the relocation, then you need to file a Petition to Relocate and serve it upon the other parent. There will be a hearing where the court will determine whether the proposed relocation is in the best interest of the child. In reaching its decision regarding a proposed temporary or permanent relocation, the court will evaluate all of the following:
(a) The nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the parent or other person proposing to relocate with the child and with the nonrelocating parent, other persons, siblings, half-siblings, and other significant persons in the child’s life.
(b) The age and developmental stage of the child, the needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child.
(c) The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating parent or other person and the child through substitute arrangements that take into consideration the logistics of contact, access, and time-sharing, as well as the financial circumstances of the parties; whether those factors are sufficient to foster a continuing meaningful relationship between the child and the nonrelocating parent or other person; and the likelihood of compliance with the substitute arrangements by the relocating parent or other person once he or she is out of the jurisdiction of the court.
(d) The child’s preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child.
(e) Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for both the parent or other person seeking the relocation and the child, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefits or educational opportunities.
(f) The reasons each parent or other person is seeking or opposing the relocation.
(g) The current employment and economic circumstances of each parent or other person and whether the proposed relocation is necessary to improve the economic circumstances of the parent or other person seeking relocation of the child.
(h) That the relocation is sought in good faith and the extent to which the objecting parent has fulfilled his or her financial obligations to the parent or other person seeking relocation, including child support, spousal support, and marital property and marital debt obligations.
(i) The career and other opportunities available to the objecting parent or other person if the relocation occurs.
(j) A history of substance abuse or domestic violence by either parent, including a consideration of the severity of such conduct and the failure or success of any attempts at rehabilitation.
(k) Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child.