Parental Relocation & Child Custody in Florida
Moving Away? Get Help Maintaining Your Parental Rights
Americans have become a mobile society. We move to other cities and states
for employment, a promotion, remarriage, education opportunities, to be
near family, and sometimes just to avoid traffic or find better weather.
When a parent wants to relocate, the case frequently ends up in litigation.
Neither parent wants to be separated from his or her children, so both
parents tend to fight all the way to the end.
At R. Gregory Colvin, LLC, our lead Orlando parental relocation attorney
is a true
trial lawyer. He is fully prepared to take your case as far as it needs to go. Please
keep in mind that judges rule toward what is in the best interests of
the child - which can go either way. It is our job to help make sure that
not only are your child's interests are protected, but your parental
interests as well.
If you want to relocate to another state or city or want to prevent your
former spouse from relocating, you need an experienced attorney by your side.
Florida Custody Relocation Laws
If you are the custodial parent, you can’t just relocate with the
children without consulting your ex, and the court, beforehand. The first
thing you can do is to check your divorce or child custody decree for
any restrictions on either parent’s ability to move the child beyond
a specified geographic limit. Travel restrictions are very common, and
they are usually discussed during the divorce proceedings.
Travel can also be restricted by state law. In Florida, if a parent is
relocating more than 50 miles from his or her current residence for at
least 60 days, both parents must sign a written agreement that spells
out the terms of the move and new custody arrangements. The agreement should:
- Demonstrate that both parents agree to the relocation
- Show a time-sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent
- State how the parents will handle the transportation for visitation periods
The court will take into consideration some of the following:
- The child’s relationship with the relocating and non-relocating parent
- The child’s age and current needs
- The impact on development
- If either parent has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence
- Whether the relocation will improve the lives of the parent and child
- The child’s preference
Child Visitation & Timesharing
Family court has a pre-determined process regarding relocation modifications
to child support:
- There are specific statutes that outline what the relocating parent must
do. There is no guarantee that a parent can leave - even if the other
parent does not object.
- If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the case goes to mediation.
- During mediation, each parent has his or her own attorney and a third attorney
acts as a mediator.
- A signed mediation agreement is binding.
- Approximately 80 percent of relocation disputes are settled during mediation.
- If a mediation agreement is not reached, the case goes before a judge who
can rule in either direction.
As an Orlando attorney with
over 25 years of experience, Gregory Colvin has represented both fathers and mothers, the relocating
parent and the non-relocating parent. We have also acted many times as
the neutral mediator.
Potential Timesharing Results
The judge will rule in the "best interests of the children" which
is in favor of the petition about half the time.
Possible outcomes in timesharing cases may include:
- - The relocating parent may be allowed to leave with the children and a
new timesharing agreement is worked out.
- - The relocating parent may leave without the children and a new timesharing
agreement is worked out.
- - Although rare, the relocating parent may decide to stay, or both parents
If you have any questions about your potential relocation,
contact our office
at (407) 603-3460.