When a divorcing or divorced parent wants to move to a new community with the child, that parent can have a difficult time getting the necessary court approval for the relocation if the other parent doesn’t agree to the relocation. Under Florida law, the relocating parent has to first prove that it is in the best interests of the child to relocate. Then, the objecting parent has the opportunity to prove why it’s not in the best interests of the child to relocate. There are multiple factors that the Florida relocation statute requires the court to consider. This means that each relocation case is usually very fact intensive.
Generally speaking, it can be difficult to show that a child should be uprooted from his or her community to move with a parent to a new community. The age of the child can be very important. The day-to-day disruption of relocating on an infant would, for example, be far less than on a teenager. On the other hand, the relocation could deprive the objecting parent of the opportunity to build a close bond with the infant by daily or frequent interaction and time sharing with the infant.
The objecting parent’s level of involvement with the child’s daily life is also an important consideration. A parent who consistently exercises all of his or her time sharing, who attends the child’s school activities and extra-curricular events on a regular basis, and who is otherwise closely involved in the child’s day-to-day life will have a stronger argument against relocation than the more emotionally distant, minimally involved parent.
If you or your child’s other parent is considering relocating with your child, an experienced family lawyer can discuss the legal requirements of securing court permission for the relocation and help you develop the strongest case possible either for or against the relocation.