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Parental location involving a minor child after a divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2022 | Child Custody |

Most Florida couples who get divorces view the entry of the final order as a permanent decision on how their futures will be managed. Unhappily, life is uncertain, and many circumstantial changes can disrupt assumptions and plans for the future. One of the most disruptive changes is the need for one of the parents to move to another state.

Reasons for leaving the state

Perhaps one of the most common reasons for one divorced spouse to decide to move to another state is the offer of a new job. The new job may come with a higher salary and more fringe benefits, such as health care insurance and a retirement plan. Other reasons may include an unexpected illness, the death of a spouse’s parent, or merely the wish for a change of circumstances. In any event, the ex-spouse who who wishes to move to another state must seek and receive approval from the judge who originally heard the divorce case.

What factors control a request to move?

Florida has a statute that controls what factors must be considered in a motion to change residence. The first factor is nature, quality, extent of involvement and duration of the child’s relationship with parent seeking to relocate. The court must also consider the nature of the child’s relationship with siblings and the age and development stage of the child. The parent seeking permission to move must also demonstrate the feasibility of maintaining a proper relationship with the child. If the child is old enough to express a credible opinion, the judge may consider that opinion. Another critical factor is the career and other opportunities available to the objecting parent or other person if the relocation occurs. The court may also consider any history of substance abuse or domestic violence. Finally, the court will consider any other factor that concerns the best interests of the child.

Two types of motions to relocate

A petition filed by a custodial parent presents a particular challenge to the non-custodial parent. If the child and the custodial parent are allowed to move to another state, the relationship of the non-custodial parent with the child will be severely disturbed. A non-custodial parent who seeks court permission to relocate presents a somewhat less severe challenge to the relationship between the child and the parent who may be opposing the motion.

Succeeding in a motion to relocate

As can be inferred from the foregoing discussion, succeeding in a motion to relocate can depend upon the quality of the attorney presenting the case. Gathering and presenting the evidence is crucial to obtaining a favorable outcome. Mark Abzug in Coral Springs is especially suited to presenting or opposing motions involving a request to relocate. Mr. Abzug has had many years of experience in handling various types of divorce cases, and he knows how to assemble and present a persuasive case in virtually every court in Florida.