Defending Your Peace of Mind
Attorney for Parental Relocation in Florida
Family Law Child Relocation Services
At The Virga Law Firm, we understand the difficulties involved when a parent faces the emotional turmoil of child relocation. For the non-relocating parent, the prospect of losing child rearing time can cause anxiety and worry. As for the relocating parent, the decision can be equally daunting. Our experienced legal team can guide you through this turbulent process.
When one parent desires to move a large distance away from their current residence, they must file for relocation. The best interests of your child will be the primary concern. Should the court grant the petition, a new time-sharing and parental responsibility plan will be developed.
Child Relocation Cases are evaluated according to Florida’s relocation statute. The criterion for granting or denying a petition are presented within the statute and must be followed accordingly. Additionally, the rights of the non-relocating parent must be fairly addressed and safeguarded by the court. In Florida Child Relocation Cases, time is critical.
Our experienced relocation attorneys are dedicated to expedient case evaluations. We can file your petition with speed, factual accuracy, and a compelling plan that provides for your child’s best interest.
Uncontested Relocation in Florida
In rare cases, both parents agree upon relocation. When both parties agree upon the appropriate details, they must still file for relocation with the court. Florida statute covers the necessary steps needed for said action. A new plan covering time-sharing and parental responsibility must be developed and submitted. To that end, the new agreement must deal with any geographic related issues. These consist of time-sharing arrangements that address long-distance particularities.
Upon submission, Florida courts will generally approve terms where both parties are in agreement. Sometimes, a hearing may be required prior to finalization. This generally occurs upon the request of one party. In reaching a determination regarding child relocation, a Florida court must always consider the child’s best interests.
Contested Relocation in Florida
Contested relocations are far more common. Both parents seldom agree on relocation terms. In this event, the relocation is considered contested. Our well-seasoned Florida Child Relocation Lawyers will adeptly defend our clients’ parental rights during a contested relocation case.
When parents disagree on relocation terms, the matter will be decided by the state of Florida’s court system. If you are seeking relocation, Florida statute dictates the relocating party submit certain pertinent information, including: the city and state to where one wishes to relocate, and the reasoning behind said move. Valid reasoning and analysis of the statutory facts are paramount in successfully litigating relocation cases. Clearly setting out all the elements required by Florida’s child relocation statute is necessary to concisely and accurately present your case to the court.
Failing to comply with the child relocation statute is a grave misstep, said action could result in:
- The court ordered return of the child
- Contempt of court
- Grounds to alter the time-sharing agreement
- The payment of opposing party’s legal fees
If you are a non-relocating parent, statute comprehension is critical. The non-relocating parent must file an objection by the time period specified within the order to properly defend their legal rights.
Factors That Establish a Child’s Best Interest During a Relocation Case
Whether your relocation is contested or uncontested, a judge will evaluate your case based on the Florida statute governing relocation. These guidelines evaluate the best interests of your child through a number of factors. Failing to properly set forth appropriate evidence and a compelling argument can result in the court denying your relocation request.
If the court determines your petition to be in your child’s best interests, it will permit the relocation. In this event, a new time-sharing and parental responsibility plan is constructed reflecting the unique issues raised regarding the relocation.
Under Florida Statute 61.13001 Section 7, there are eleven factors to consider when deciding a child’s best interests, including:
- The nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the parent or other person proposing to relocate with the child and with the non-relocating parent, other persons, siblings, half-siblings, and other significant persons in the child’s life
- The age and developmental stage of the child, the needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child
- The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating parent or other person and the child through substitute arrangements
- The child’s preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child
- Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for both the parent or other person seeking the relocation and the child
- The reasons each parent or other person is seeking or opposing the relocation
- The current employment and economic circumstances of each parent or other person and whether the proposed relocation is necessary to improve those economic circumstances
- That the relocation is sought in good faith and the extent to which the objecting parent has fulfilled his or her financial obligations to the parent or other person seeking relocation
- The career and other opportunities available to the objecting parent or other person if the relocation occurs
- A history of substance abuse or domestic violence by either parent, including a consideration of the severity of such conduct and the failure or success of any attempts at rehabilitation
- Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child or as set forth in general custody statute
Temporary Relocation Before Trial Begins In Florida
Florida courts can grant temporary relocation prior to the final resolution of the case. To attain temporary relocation, quick action is a necessity. Our team of Florida Child Relocation Attorneys are skilled at crafting thorough relocation petitions that are submitted with expediency.
In cases of temporary relocation, the court is obligated by statute to hold a hearing within 30 days of the party’s request. The above factors will be evaluated in correlation with the particular circumstances of the case. Should the court determine temporary relocation meets the child’s best interests, it will be approved. Our team of impassioned Florida Child Custody and Relocation attorneys understands what it takes to defend your rights with meticulous dedication. Allow us to work for you and your child’s best interests.
Violation of Florida Child Relocation Statute
Our Florida attorneys are prepared to conduct expedient measures to defend your parental rights from unauthorized relocation. According to state law, violation of the Florida child relocation statute carries serious consequences. The court reserves the power to hold violators in contempt.
Statute allows the court to order the return of the child. The offending parent can be ordered to repay any costs the victimized parent assumes while visiting their child during the contempt. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our Florida Child Relocation Attorneys determinedly defend our clients’ parental rights. Let our passionate focus and thorough litigation experience protect you from relocation statute violation.
Call our legal office at (800) 822-5170 to schedule a consultation today.
Gerard Virga Founding Attorney
David Lohr Executive Director/Attorney
Chad Self Fort Walton Beach Managing Attorney
Tracie Phillips Orlando Managing Attorney
William West Ritchie Panama City Managing Attorney
Taylor Tippel Panama City Beach Managing Attorney
Andrea Ansley Attorney
Christopher Melendez Attorney
April Hand Operations Manager and Florida Registered Paralegal
Danny Durnbaugh Chief Financial Officer
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