A Child Relocation case was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Castleman v. Bicaldo. In this case, the mother emigrated from the Philippines to the United States in order to marry the Father. As a result of the marriage, she was able to obtain a Green Card. After 26 months of marriage, the Father filed for divorce. The trial judge issued a Final Judgment in which the Court ruled that if Wife’s citizenship application was denied, she would be allowed to move to the Philippines with her child. The trial court found that the relocation statute did not apply to persons who are deported. The Court of Appeals reversed this judgment.
The Court of Appeal held that the Florida Parental Relocation Statute applies to persons wishing to relocate voluntarily as well as to those who are forced to relocate by the government after their marital status is changed. The Florida Child Relocation Statute contains ten specific factors that trial courts are required to apply in making determinations regarding child custody relocation. These ten factors are to be applied in cases involving involuntary as well as voluntary relocations.
Additionally, the trial court in this child relocation case erred in making the determination that it would be in the child’s best interest to relocate with the mother in the event that she was deported. The Florida Court of Appeal stated that trial courts are not equipped a “crystal ball” that enables to determine that relocations will be in the best interests of children at unspecified times in the future. The Court of Appeals stated that trial courts are unable to predict how future changes might affect the statutory factors.
Accordingly, the trial court’s decision was reversed.
To speak with a child relocation attorney in Boca Raton, Florida, contact M atthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.