Miami Parental & Child Relocation Lawyer
When a divorce occurs, one party may consider moving into a new location to restart their life with their children if they have custody. While relocating is straightforward, it can become complicated if the other parent is against it, especially if they are in a time-sharing agreement to stay involved in their child’s life.
Fortunately, if you live in Miami, FL, state law has a guideline residents can follow when it comes to child relocation after a divorce proceeding concludes. For the state, parents must remain active in their child’s life even if they get a divorce. The divorce arrangements will include a clause on time-sharing while sorting out the parenting plan. Arrangements should be agreed upon by both parents before the relocating party and the child can do the relocation. The court must also be informed of the move and approve it.
Miami Divorce Attorneys has a great team of Miami child relocation lawyers who are always ready to help you get approval for your relocation. We can assist either party in dealing with relocation concerns and reach a resolution both parties can agree on. Whatever the case’s conclusion, we will ensure that the arrangements will help you maintain your relationship with your child no matter where they reside.
Call Miami Divorce Attorneys at (786) 321-9064 for your Consultation with a Miami Child Relocation Lawyer.
Definition of Relocation in Florida
In the Florida Statutes, relocation is defined as a change in the primary residence of a parent from the principal residence cited in the last order, which details a time-sharing plan or in the filing while waiting for legal action for establishing or modifying a time-sharing plan.
The new location must be at least 50 miles from the original residence, and they intend to live in this new location for at least 60 days to help the child get the services they need.
Before relocation can be made, parents on a time-sharing or parenting plan can finalize it through an agreement or a court order.
Relocation By Agreement
Parents who do not wish to get the court involved with the relocation can sign a written agreement that shows that both parties are ok with the relocation and how the time-sharing and access schedule will be adjusted for both parties to follow once the relocation is done. The agreement will also include transportation arrangements if included in the discussions.
If there is an existing cause of action or degree of record regarding the child’s residence or the time-sharing schedule, the parties can get the agreement ratified by the court without going into a hearing unless one party requests it. The request for a hearing must be made within ten days after filing the agreement to the court. If the hearing was not requested, it is presumed that both parties approve the relocation, which is in the child’s best interests. The court will also immediately ratify the agreement without a hearing.
Our Miami child relocation lawyers can sit down with you to write your agreement and ensure that both parties agree to its contents before filing it before the court. We can also request a court hearing to get the agreement ratified.
Petition for Relocation
If a relocation agreement is not made between both parents, the relocating party can request the court to approve the relocation. They must file a petition for relocation, which the court will look into, and all involved parties must be notified about the petition for the case to be heard.
The petition for relocation must be signed under oath or affirmation by the relocating party, and it must include the following points:
- The description of the location of the intended new residence, including the physical address, city, and state.
- The mailing address of the intended residence if it is not the same as the physical address
- The home telephone number of the new residence
- The date of the intended move
- A detailed statement that explains why they are relocating. For example, if it is due to employment opportunities, the petition should include the job offer from the company they are planning to join.
- A proposal for the revised post-relocation schedule for time-sharing and access and the transportation arrangements that will allow time-sharing to continue. If no current or valid order abates, terminates, and restricts access or time-sharing or good cause that predates the petition, failure to comply with the provisions will make the petition legally insufficient.
- At the end of the petition, a specific phrase must be written in all capital letters and the same size type (can be larger). It says: “A RESPONSE TO THE PETITION OBJECTING TO RELOCATION MUST BE MADE IN WRITING, FILED WITH THE COURT, AND SERVED ON THE PARENT OR OTHER PERSON SEEKING TO RELOCATE WITHIN 20 DAYS AFTER SERVICE OF THIS PETITION TO RELOCATE. IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY OBJECT TO THE RELOCATION, THE RELOCATION WILL BE ALLOWED, UNLESS IT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD, WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE AND WITHOUT A HEARING.”
A copy of the petition must be sent to the other parent and those given access to see the child via mail. If they fail to respond to the petition, it will be presumed that the relocation is approved and will benefit the child. The order will then be expedited, so there won’t be a court hearing to finalize the approval. Meanwhile, if the other parent or any approved party responds on time, the relocating parent will not be allowed to move with their child until a hearing takes place and the court permits the move.
If a child is relocated without permission from the court, the violating party will be taken into contempt and ordered to return the child. Further penalties, such as modifying the parenting plan, fines, and restitution, can be added.
Parents or parties seeking to relocate a child or the children can request the court to prevent the disclosure of their location under a public records exemption. If approved, the disclosure requirements will be modified in the final order.
Do you need clarification on the court process for relocation petitions? Let Miami Divorce Attorneys make it easier for you to understand the process and take the proper legal action to get your relocation approved by the court.
Temporary Orders on Child Relocation
Temporary orders can be requested while the final decision has yet to be made by the court.
Those who wish to object to relocation must forward a petition which details why the relocation should not be permitted and the amount of time the opposing parent spends with their child.
The court can order a temporary restraining order to stop the other party from relocating, seek the child’s return to the other parent, or if the relocation already took place, the court will consider the following criteria before they give a temporary order:
- The petition to relocate does not have legal grounds.
- The relocation was done without a written agreement between both parties or does not have court approval.
- The presented evidence is not enough for the court to support the request for relocation.
Meanwhile, a temporary order can be granted to a relocating party if the court sees that:
- The petition to relocate was done in good faith and in compliance with the statute.
- The evidence presented during the preliminary hearing shows that there is probable cause to approve the relocation.
When the court gives a temporary order before a final decision is given, it cannot be used as a factor that led to the party’s decision to relocate for financial reasons. The court will also require the relocating party to provide their children with a clear financial and security plan. If necessary, they will assign a court-ordered contact who must not be interfered with by the relocating party to check on the child regularly.
Our Miami child relocation lawyers are ready to help you to request a temporary order to support your relocation or contest a relocation. We can also question these orders before making a final decision for your case.
Factors to Determine Contested Relocation
During the hearing where the court determines if a relocation should be allowed or not, the court will consider the following factors for its decision:
- The relationship of the child with the parents, as well as the level of involvement of the parents in the child’s life
- The age and needs of the child, as well as the impact of the move on their physical, educational, and emotional development. If they have special needs, it will also be taken into account.
- When considering new arrangements for custody, it is important to assess the feasibility of maintaining the child’s relationship with the other parent and also take into account the financial situation. The court will also look into the compliance of both parties with the new arrangement, especially if the new location is out of the court’s jurisdiction.
- The child’s preference, taking into account their age and maturity level
- Whether the relocation will improve the quality of life for the relocating party, especially when it comes to its financial, emotional, and educational benefits
- Reasons of each party regarding the relocation
- The employment and financial status of either parent and whether relocation can help the relocating parent improve their economic situation
- If the relocation is done in good faith, and to what extent did the other party fulfill their obligations to the relocating parent and their child
- The career opportunities available to the objecting party once the relocation is complete
- The history of domestic violence or substance abuse, or if the parties have taken rehabilitation to correct their habits and current conduct.
- Other factors which can affect the child’s best interest
The court will also look into the relocating parent’s capacity to ensure that their child gets their needs once they relocated. Meanwhile, the other party must show that the relocation will not benefit the child if they wish to stop it. Miami Divorce Attorneys can check your situation before the hearing and see how we can help you defend or contest the relocation.
Approved Relocation and Hearings
When either a petition for relocation or relocation agreement is approved by the court, the court will order the relocating parent to ensure that the non-relocating parent will have no issues communicating or visiting their child in their new residence. The arrangement must also be affordable for the non-relocating parent. Should the cost be great, the court may set a cost limit and adjust the child support arrangements to match the new setup.
Meanwhile, should there be any complaints about the relocation and a party requests for either temporary or permanent relief, the court will schedule the hearing at the earliest possible opportunity. The hearing will occur no later than 30 days after the request was filed for temporary relocation petitions. Meanwhile, a notice for a nonjury trial will be scheduled within 90 days since it was filed.
Our Miami child relocation lawyers will explain how the court will resolve petition requests or protests for relocation and prepare the necessary defense and documentation if needed. You can also trust us to determine if the new arrangements will be manageable for both parties and ensure they are followed.
Talk To Our Legal Experts Today
After a failed marriage, moving to a new location to start again can do wonders for you and your children. However, before you make such a big step, you must ensure that it will not have legal implications, as your child’s other parent may appeal against it for whatever reason.
So, before you move to a new location, speak to our Miami, FL family law firm first and see if there will be any legal concerns you must settle. Your assigned child relocation lawyer will check your current arrangement with your child’s other parent, ensure that your relocation will have no problems whatsoever, and ensure everyone’s relationship with the child is unaffected. We are always ready to take on your case and ensure you can move immediately once the case is resolved.
Call Miami Divorce Attorneys at (786) 321-9064 for your Consultation with a Miami Child Relocation Lawyer.