The most important asset that a couple can ever have is their children and when divorce comes into play, parents must make sure that these assets are protected and never get the short end of the stick. Life goes on for the divorced parents but all too often the children feel stuck in a complicated maze, especially when one parent decides to relocate.
Whether you are a parent who wants or needs to relocate, or if you are the co-parent facing the possibility of your children moving away, let an experienced Boca Raton parental relocation lawyer help you work out the details of the proposed relocation, protect your rights, and protect your children’s interests. If a relocation is imminent or merely being considered, make the call promptly. After a divorce, a parent may need or desire relocation for several reasons: a change in or loss of employment, a career advance, a remarriage, or the need to be closer to elderly parents. A Florida court’s priority, however, is protecting the child’s relationship with the parent whose time with and bond with the child will be impacted by the move. Boca Raton parental relocation lawyer Tina L. Lewert can help.
FLORIDA’S CHILD RELOCATION LAWS
We are living in a much more mobile society today than we did a decade or two ago. Parents move because of their job, education or health. Some move to be closer to family or to simply get a fresh start after a divorce. However, when children are involved, moving becomes much more difficult. Because child relocation has become an increasingly larger issue in family courts, Florida enacted laws specifically related to the question of child relocation.
When parents are discussing the terms of the parenting plan and time-sharing agreement, they often discuss when and under what circumstances a child can be taken out of state or out of the country. This usually is limited to vacations as child relocation is typically a very sensitive subject that neither parent will agree to willingly.
Under Florida Statute §61.13001, a parent must file a notice of relocation if the parent wants to move the child move than 50 miles away from the child’s current residence. The other parent has 30 days after being served with the notice to file an objection with the court. When a child relocation is challenged, the parent wishing to relocate the child must provide evidence that the relocation is in the best interest of the child. This evidence may include facts that affect the child’s life such as financial, social, education, religious and cultural. The parent must also present a parenting plan and timesharing plan that takes into consideration how the non-custodial parent will continue to be an active participant in the child’s life.
However, the parent who is objecting the child relocation notice should also be prepared to present evidence to the court that substantiates the claim that the relocation is not in the best interest of the child. The court will always act to protect the best interest of the child. It does not presume that either parent is correct when a child relocation notice is filed or when an objection is filed. The court will weigh all of the evidence presented by both parties and use this information to determine what is in the best interest of the child.
Moving your child out of the country may even be more difficult due to the fact that the other parent will probably have very limited visitation with the child and you are asking the court to place the child in a different culture. However, depending on the circumstances, the court may find that it is in the best interest of the child to move out of the country with a parent. If you are considering a move with your child, you need to contact our office as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and responsibilities with regard to child relocation.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PARENTS DON’T AGREE?
When the parents cannot agree, the judge will hold a hearing and decide whether to allow the move. If the judge believes that this move would have a negative impact on the children he may not approve it. When the parent does not agree with the move, the custodial parent must file a petition for relocation with the court.
The petition must include the location, mailing address, and telephone number of the new home, date of the proposed move, specific reasons for the move and proof, proposal for parenting and visitation schedules after the move, along with transportation arrangements, and a notice telling the other parent how to object to the petition and the consequences of failing to do so.
If the noncustodial parent answers, a hearing to decide the issue will be set up. However, if the noncustodial parent fails to respond to the petition, the judge will presume the move is in the child’s best interests and will allow it. If the noncustodial parent does respond, it might be time for you to hire an experienced Boca Raton lawyer.
CALL TODAY AND LET US HELP
Because relocation is a potentially complex legal issue, you need a Florida Board Certified Family Law attorney who has extensive experience handling parental relocation cases. Tina L. Lewert can explain your legal rights, obligations, and options. When Ms. Lewert represents you, she will advocate aggressively for you and your child. Even if both parents agree to a relocation, you must have a formal parental relocation agreement that defines the new timesharing and transportation arrangements. The court will review the agreement, and if the court finds that it is in the best interests of the children, the court will approve it. If the parties cannot agree, the court will intervene and will work to ensure that both parents have time with their children and play a part in their lives.
WE KNOW HOW TO PRESENT YOUR CASE
Divorced parents are rarely able to agree to the terms of a relocation. Tina L. Lewert has represented many clients on both sides of the relocation issue and knows exactly how to present parental relocation cases at trial. At Lewert Law, we can explain your options, protect your rights, and help you take the appropriate legal steps toward a brighter future for you and your children. We invite you to schedule an appointment by phone at 561-220-0123 or by e-mail through this website to discuss your needs, options, and legal rights as quickly as possible.