Once parents separate, one parent’s decision to relocate can create major tension between them. If there is a child custody and timesharing agreement in place, the parent that wishes to relocate more than 50 miles from his or her residence will have to file a Petition for Relocation. There are very strict statutory requirements the relocating parent must comply with. On the flip side, the parent upon whom a Petition to Relocate is served must respond timely and appropriately or risk losing the right to object to the relocation. If the parties are involved in divorce litigation, the relocation will have to be considered as they create a custody and timesharing agreement. Relocation has a tremendous impact on child custody in Broward County Florida. In determining child custody in Broward County Florida, the residences of the parents are just one of several factors the family courts consider when rendering a decision.
In any Florida family court case, the best interests of the child take priority in decisions that are made. If a parent wishes to relocate with a child, the Court will first consider the nature, quality, extent of involvement and duration of the child’s relationship with each parent, siblings and half-siblings and any other significant persons in the child’s life. In addition, the Court will consider a number of other factors include the impact the relocation may have on the child, the quality and practicality of the proposed substituted timesharing with the non-relocating parent, whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the parent who is proposing to relocate with the child, and others.
If the parents cannot agree on relocation, a court hearing is necessary. The Court may grant a parent the right to relocate on a temporary basis pending a full trial on the Petition to Relocate. A relocating parent’s failure to comply with the strict notice requirements of the statute can have devastating results. The Court has the authority to enter an Order compelling the child to return and enter sanctions against the relocating parent.
A contested relocation is complicated and should be handled by an attorney with a broad array of knowledge concerning the relocation statute and a demonstrated ability to develop the facts and circumstances unique to your family to present a persuasive case to the Court either in support of, or in opposition to, a relocation.