Can Someone Relocate With The Kids After Divorce?
Are you worried that your relationship with your children is at risk because your spouse is moving? If the possibility of relocation is going to make visitation difficult or impossible on a regular basis, that’s a real problem if you and your ex cannot agree on the terms of the move. That means signing a written document outlining the time-sharing and how transportation will be taken care of. In Florida, moving 50+ miles away constitutes a relocation if it is not a temporary move.
Challenging the Move
When parents cannot come to an agreement, it’s up to the one who’s moving to file a petition and have it served on the other parent. The petition must contain the date of the move along with the new address, phone number, and proposed visitation schedule, along with transportation plans. The reason for the projected move must also be included. Finally, there must be a notice advising the non-custodial parent what they need to do in order to challenge the move.
Factors in the Court’s Decision
A number of things will be considered as a judge determines whether to approve a petition to move. Among them, naturally, is the best interests of the children. The impetus for the move, extenuating circumstances, and other concerns of the parent who wishes to move will be looked at. Equally important are the concerns of the parent who is resistant to the move, and, if the kids are old enough, their wishes are factored in.
Common Reasons for a Move
There are all kinds of reasons for someone to want to move. Some of the most common ones include:
A better job (documentation of the job offer must be presented);
Being closer to family members who can help with and enrich the children’s experience;
- Escaping domestic violence;
- Recreational opportunities;
- Environmental concerns;
- More affordable housing;
- Avoiding crime or getting into a better neighborhood;
- Political concerns;
- Educational opportunities.
Certainly, some reasons for moving are more convincing than others, and a judge will be looking at the totality of the situation before making a ruling.
After a Ruling
If the court rules against the individual wishing to move, chances are it will add an element of consternation to what may already be a difficult relationship. By the same token, allowing one parent to move could drastically alter the amount of time the other parent gets to spend with their children. In either case, it is crucial that both parents recognize the value of the children having strong, loving, and reliable relationships with both parents. Everything possible should be done to ensure that the kids’ needs are prioritized with regard to parenting time, and alternate methods of communication, like facetime, zoom, etc. are incorporated into the parenting plan.
Fighting for the Outcomes You Want
At WiseLieberman, our dedicated Boca Raton child custody attorneys listen, and work to achieve the best possible outcomes for you. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our Boca Raton office today.