Palm Beach County Parental Relocation Agreement Lawyer
Parental relocation issues can be complicated. If you are a custodial parent who plans to move more than 50 miles away after a divorce, an experienced family law attorney can inform you of your rights and obligations under Florida's new parental relocation laws. If your ex-spouse is planning to leave the state with your child, a lawyer experienced in child custody issues can explain your parental rights and options regarding the proposed move. Contact Palm Beach County, Florida, child custody and visitation lawyer Tina L. Lewert today. We offer a free initial telephone consultation.
When a custodial parent moves away following a divorce, it requires major adjustment on the part of all parties involved - parents, children, grandparents and other extended family members. Relocation disputes often are difficult to resolve. At Lewert Law Offices, P.A. in Boca Raton, we will address the facts of your case and consider the interests of all parties - primarily the best interests of the children - in an effort to effectively settle the relocation issue. Whether you wish to fight parental relocation or you are a parent seeking relocation with your child, we can help. Our family law attorney will take the time to explain your rights, obligations, and options under Florida's parental relocation laws.
Florida's New Parental Relocation Statute
Under a new Florida law, strict procedures must be followed in relocation cases. Before moving a child's principal residence address more than 50 miles away, a primary residential parent (custodial parent) must either: obtain the written agreement of all parties entitled to visitation with the child; or file and serve a Notice of Intent to Relocate.
Relocation by Agreement
The parent who wishes to move away with the child will be allowed to move if he or she obtains the written consent of the other parent and every other person entitled to visitation with the child. An informal agreement between the parents is not enough. The agreement must be in writing and: reflect the agreement to the relocation; define the visitation rights for the parent who is not moving (and any other persons who are entitled to visitation); and describe, if necessary, any transportation arrangements related to the visitation. The agreement must then be ratified by the court.
Notice of Intent to Relocate with a Child
If the primary residential parent wants to move with the child or children more than 50 miles away, he or she must notify the other parent of a proposed relocation - unless the parents have agreed to the move as discussed above. The Notice of Intent to Relocate must list each reason for the proposed move in great detail (better schools, a better job or employment opportunity, financial reasons, increased family support, etc,) and must include a proposed new visitation schedule. The other parent can then agree to or object to the proposed move.
Parental Relocation Court Proceedings in Palm Beach and Broward Counties
In Florida, a custodial parent cannot move during the time the other party has to object to the move. Nor can the parent move without court approval if the other parent has filed an objection to the move. If the non-custodial parent objects to the move there will be a hearing where the court will determine if the proposed move is in the best interest of the children. In deciding whether to allow the move, the court will consider all facts and circumstances, including:
- The reasons for the move,
- The time spent with the non-custodial parent now and after the proposed relocation, and the relationship between each parent and the children,
- The effect of the move upon the children's physical, educational, and emotional development and upon the non-custodial parent's visitation rights,
- Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for both the parent seeking the relocation and the child, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefits or educational opportunities, and
- Any other factor affecting the best interest of the children.
To determine whether to allow the relocation of a minor child, the court looks at many factors, including the reasons given for moving, the reasons given for opposing the move, and the relationship between the parties. The custodial parent's reason for relocation is important. Moving out of Florida after divorce to be close to family or other support, to address major health problems, to protect the child from harm, or to pursue a significant educational or professional opportunity, are among legitimate reasons to move per relocation law.
The Court can consider whether a parent followed the relocation procedure in determining custody and visitation rights and can even permanently change custody if the relocation procedure isn't followed. Consult with our knowledgeable Palm Beach County custody attorney to understand how Florida child custody law affects a proposed relocation.
While your child's or children's best interests are always of primary importance, move-away issues, grandparent visitation rights and other factors complicate child custody matters today for parents, lawyers and the courts. Our firm works closely with each client to identify factors relevant to child custody determinations and helps to effectively communicate those factors to the court.
Working to Protect Your Parental Right to Child Custody and Visitation
Healthy parenting requires that both parents are active in the child's life. An experienced custody and visitation lawyer will assertively represent your interests so you can maintain strong ties with your child even though you are separated in distance. If you are considering relocating, or if your ex-spouse has filed a notice of intent to relocate or has already relocated with your child, we can advise you and help to protect your parental rights. If the other parent's relocation with your child will impose on your right to spend meaningful and consistent time with your child, we will work with you to protect your custodial and visitation rights.
At Lewert Law Offices, P.A ., we tenaciously advocate for the rights and interests of our clients and their families in post-divorce relocation cases and in all aspects of family law. For more information about divorce and child custody, please visit our Divorce Information Center.
Whether you are demanding that child relocation be stopped, or you have questions about Florida child relocation law, contact Boca Raton child custody attorney Tina L. Lewert at Lewert Law Offices, P.A. today to discuss your case.