Relocation laws in Florida
Relocation after divorce is the opportunity for a new beginning, the daring to dream of a different future than you originally planned. While relocation after divorce is filled with possibilities for a fresh start, there are also obstacles to overcome, especially if there are children involved. Challenges present themselves if both parents are not in agreement regarding the move. There are a few things to consider before planning your post-divorce relocation.
In accordance with Florida law, when a parent with a time sharing situation requests a relocation, ample evidence must be gathered to prove the relocation will be in the child’s best interest, and not just the best interest of the parent. Subsequently, the burden will shift to your former spouse to prove relocation is not in the best interest of the child. A parent filing a petition to relocate must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances. A substantial change in circumstances will determine if the move is beneficial for the child’s physical, emotional, and educational development, along with the improvement of the quality of life for the child.
Many relocation cases end up in court. The court will ultimately decide if the relocation is in the best interest of the child. Several factors are considered in the court’s decision including the stability of each child-parent relationship, prior agreements between the parents, the intentions for and opposition against the move, the betterment of career opportunities and the financial situation, and the resources and opportunities available in the new state.
Moving the Court
Relocation is one of the most challenging things to have granted by the court. For a parent presenting the case for relocation, a professional advocate trained in the legal language is recommended. Your lawyer thoroughly understands the relocation laws, statutory updates, and geographical restrictions in your state.
Children experiencing the demise of their parents’ marriage are more likely to be at risk for several different issues. Children from divorced homes are at a greater risk to struggle academically, experience behavioral problems, and are less likely to graduate from high school. A study done by psychologist Judith Wallerstein found that even 25 years after divorce, children still experienced feelings of loss, failure, fear of change, and fear of conflict.
Before relocating, a parent should consider several factors, most importantly if the relocation is genuinely in the child’s best interest. Divorce is stressful enough for children to endure, uprooting them from their school, friends, and home only adds to their stress. A child’s well-being comes before anything else. Another important factor to consider is the level of thought behind relocation. Constructing an in-depth plan, which considers all angles of the relocation, builds a solid foundation for your child’s fresh start. A thought out plan also prepares the parent for questions from the court. One of the more challenging factors is the allowance of open communication with the other parent. Peaceful communication is beneficial in reducing conflicts and easing negotiations.
Let Orlando’s Family Law Attorney, Emily Konicek, know if you are attempting relocation or preventing a former spouse from relocating. Emily will review the terms of your child custody agreement, and address the terms regarding relocation. Emily understands the sensitive nature of relocation, and will help guide you through the process,tailoring her legal services to your specific needs. No matter how straight-forward your case may seem, unforeseen issues may arise, and you’ll want the legal savvy of a licensed and experienced professional. Emily Konicek brings nearly a decade of legal experience, and can simplify and expedite your intention for or opposition against relocation.