Fort Lauderdale Relocation Attorneys
Helping Clients Find Solutions for the Future
Once your divorce decree has been finalized, you might think that everything has been set in stone. In reality, most elements of a divorce agreement can be modified. This includes the ever-important issue of child custody. Modifications are often necessary to reflect the ever-changing lives of the parties involved. This can include parents’ desire to relocate themselves and their children due to a new job opportunity or a new relationship.
At Stok Kon + Braverman, we understand that relocation cases can be emotional and extremely difficult for all parties involved, which is why we proudly represent parents who wish to move and who are trying to prevent their ex-spouse from moving their child away. For more than 30 years, our law firm has served the residents of both Fort Lauderdale and Boynton Beach, Florida. We have the knowledge and skill that you need in your corner to effectively protect the rights of you and your children.
What Factors Do Courts Consider in Child Relocation Cases?
The parent or other person wishing to relocate has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that relocation is in the best interest of the child. If that burden of proof is met, the burden shifts to the nonrelocating parent. When the court considers whether or not a parent can relocate, it will first look at what is in the best interests of the child.
Courts consider what kind of impact (negative or positive) the relocation will have on the child based on the following factors:
- The child’s relationship with both parents
- How active each parent has been in the child’s upbringing
- The number of relatives or other support in the new area
- The opportunities, such as school, that the child will have after relocation
- The reasons behind the relocating parent’s desire to move
If relocation is approved, the court can order arrangements to ensure that the child has frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with the nonrelocating parent, if contact is financially affordable and in the best interest of the child.
Courts can specify how the transportation costs should be allocated between the parents and other persons entitled to contact, access, and time-sharing. Courts can also adjust the child support award, as appropriate, considering the costs of transportation and the respective net incomes of the parents in accordance with the state child support guidelines schedule.
Under Florida law, a parent may not physically relocate a child more than 50 miles from their current place of residence without permission from the other parent. If the other parent does not give their consent, then the relocating parent must petition the court for approval. The petition to relocate must be served on the other parent and on every other person entitled to access to and time-sharing with the child.
If the other parent fails to file a response objecting to the petition to relocate, then it is presumed that the relocation is in the best interest of the child and that the relocation should be allowed. The court will then enter an order specifying that it is entered as a result of the failure to respond to the petition. The court will also adopt the access, time-sharing schedule, and transportation arrangements contained in the petition.
Child relocation cases can be complex. When the relationship between you and your child is at stake, it is important to ensure that you fully understand your legal rights as they relate to your situation. With extensive experience in child relocation proceedings, our lawyers have been successful in representing both sides of this complicated issue.