Child Relocation Attorney
At Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A., we are deeply concerned about the needs of our clients’ children, and are dedicated to providing them with the future that they deserve. We utilize our knowledge, skill and decades of experience to protect our clients’ parental rights, and the best interests of their children. We are well-respected negotiators and litigators, who strategically and tenaciously advocate on behalf of our clients in matters involving child custody relocation.
We love what we do and pride ourselves on the quality of our work. We provide our clients with exceptional legal service, in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. At our law firm, our clients are treated with integrity, compassion and professionalism. We listen, and we care.
Florida Law Governing Child Custody Relocation
Some of the factors that Florida courts consider in reaching a decision regarding the relocation of children include:
(a) the nature the children’s relationship with each of the parents, and with other significant persons in the children’s lives
(b) the likely impact the relocation will have on the children’s educational, emotional, and physical development
(c) the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the children and the nonrelocating parent
(d) the children’s preference, taking into consideration the ages and maturity of the children
(e) whether the relocation will enhance the quality of life for the parent seeking relocation and the children
(f) the reasons each parent is seeking or opposing the relocation
(g) whether the proposed relocation is necessary to improve the economic circumstances of the parent seeking relocation
(h) whether the relocation is sought in good faith, and the extent to which the nonrelocating parent has fulfilled his or her financial obligations to the parent seeking relocation
(i) the career and other opportunities available to the nonrelocating parent if the relocation occurs.
(j) the history of domestic violence or substance abuse by either parent
(k) any other factor involving the best interest of the children, or as set forth in Fla. Stat. § 61.13.
In Florida, relocation is defined as a change in the residence of a parent from his or her principal place of residence at the time of the last order establishing or modifying timesharing, or at the time of the filing a pending proceeding to establish or modify timesharing. This change in location must be at least fifty (50) miles away, and it must last at least sixty (60) consecutive days. A temporary absence from the parent’s principal place residence for purposes of education, vacation, or the provision of health care for the children is not considered to be a relocation under Florida law.
A Petition to relocate must be signed, under penalty of perjury, and include: (i) the location and mailing address of the new residence; (ii) the telephone number of the new residence (if known); (iii) the date of the intended relocation; (iv) a detailed description of the reasons for the relocation; (v) a copy of a written job offer, if applicable; (vi) a proposed timesharing schedule, including a description of transportation arrangements; and (vii) a specific statutorily mandated statement in capital letters which places the nonrelocating parent on notice of the proposed relocation. The parent seeking to relocate is required to update this information as further information becomes available. An Answer objecting to the proposed relocation must: (i) be made under oath; (ii) contain a detailed description of the factual basis for the reasons for opposing the proposed relocation; and contain a statement describing the amount of involvement that the objecting party currently has or has had in the children’s lives.
A parent who relocates with children without following the requirements set forth in the Florida relocation statute: (i) may be held in contempt of court, (ii) may be required to return the child, and (iii) the party’s noncompliance may be considered by the Court in the action seeking relocation or a proceeding requesting modification of the parties’ parenting plan. An award of attorney’s fees and expenses may also be assessed against the noncomplying party.
Contact An Experienced Child Custody Attorney
We understand how relocations affect our clients and their children. It takes professional guidance to successfully navigate these complex and highly emotional legal issues.
To schedule an initial consultation with an experienced child custody relocation attorney, call our office at: (561) 328-1111, or contact us online. Our offices are located in Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington, and Boca Raton, Florida.