When a couple divorces and minor children are involved, a custodial parent cannot unilaterally make a decision to move out of the area. To protect the best interests of the child(ren) and the rights of the other parent to have visitation with the child(ren), Florida law requires that anyone having visitation rights with the child (i.e., parents, grandparents) agree to the move. If these individuals do not agree, the custodial parent seeking to make the move must file a petition for court approval.
- the new physical and mailing addresses;
- the new home telephone, if known;
- the proposed move date;
- a statement giving detailed reasons for the move, including a written copy of any job offer, if that is the stated reason;
- a proposed new schedule for visitation, along with transportation arrangements necessary to effectuate that visitation; and a notice in all caps advising the other parties as to the proper method and time of responding to the petition.
Failure to provide a new schedule and transportation arrangements would render the petition legally insufficient. The court will base its decision on a host of factors impacting the best interest of the child. Some of these factors are:
- the nature of the child’s relationships with all parties involved, including both parents, other individuals having visitation rights, siblings and other significant persons;
- the age and development of the child, taking into account how the move will impact the child;
- the sufficiency of the new arrangements in fostering a continuing meaningful relationship with the other parties entitled to access;
- for older children, the child’s preference;
- if the relocation will enhance the lives of the parent and child, including economic circumstances;
- the good faith of the relocating parent and whether the opposing party has fulfilled all financial responsibilities to the relocating parent;
- previous substance or domestic abuse by either parent; and
- any other factor affecting the best interest of the child.
The decision of a custodial parent to relocate with a child can have serious and long-lasting impacts on all parties involved. In order to ensure that you effectively safeguard your rights as a parent or individual with visitation rights, it is necessary to have the proper legal guidance. The Law Offices of James S. Cunha, P.A. represent family law clients throughout Palm Beach, West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas of Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Broward County, Martin County, and Palm Beach County. Please contact us today at 561-429-3924 or via email at [email protected] to schedule a consultation.