Family Law – Moving Out-of-State With a Child
The right of a parent to move out-of-state with a child is an area of family law where many states are divided. Previously, states would automatically allow the custodial parent to move wherever he or she wanted to.
In recent years, some states have placed restrictions on the right of the custodial parent to move with the child. These states have a strong policy in favor of preserving continuity in the relationship between the child and non-custodial parent. Florida’s policy lies somewhere in the middle but they did change their law about child relocation in 2006.
New Florida Custodial Relocation Statute
The new Florida law requires that a custodial parent provide written notice to the non-custodial parent of intent to relocate, signed under oath and under penalty of perjury. This includes – the new intended address and a detailed statement of the reason for the relocation. If it is a written job offer, the written offer must be attached to the notice. It also includes a revised schedule of visitation, including transportation arrangements and a notice that the non-custodial parent must file an objection within 30 days after service of the notice. The new statute allows a judge to issue a temporary order restraining relocation of the child if these requirements have not been followed.
The new statute also expands specific factors considering the child’s welfare including the age and developmental stage of the child, the needs of the child and the impact of relocation on the child’s physical, educational and emotional development. The statute also includes the child’s preference and age and maturity. Other factors include current employment and economic circumstances of each parent and if the proposed relocation is necessary to improve the economic circumstances of the parent seeking relocation. The final consideration – any history of substance abuse or domestic violence.
The Purpose of the New Statute
The purpose of this new statute is to stop a surprise change of residence by the custodial parent of the child. It establishes specific notice requirements that must be adhered to. The court will consider all of the factors mentioned above and the child’s attachment to the current home, school, and community as well.
Every case is unique and a judge will make a different decision for each family. If you are planning to relocate, get advice from a Palm Beach County lawyer who has experience in family law before you move. A Palm Beach County attorney with child custody experience will fight for your rights if you are a custodial parent or if you are a non-custodial parent