Tallahassee Relocation Lawyers
Helping You Do What's Best for Your Children
Cases where a parent wants to relocate with their child can be challenging to navigate. Whether you want to give your child better opportunities by relocating with them or want to prevent a parental relocation request filed by a co-parent, it can be hard to identify the best way forward in a relocation case.
At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., our Tallahassee relocation attorneys work with parents to help them understand relocations laws in Florida and pursue their child's best interests in relocation cases.
To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (850) 307-5211.
How Does Parent Relocation Work in Tallahassee?
The process for relocating in Tallahassee largely depends on whether the parents agree to the relocation.
If the parents agree, they must:
- Draft a relocation agreement together, detailing why the relocation is occurring, how they plan to arrange custody post-relocation, and verification that both parties agree.
- Once the parents have signed the agreement, they must file it with the court. The court will confirm that the agreement is legally sound and finalize it, making the relocation legal.
If the parents disagree, the parent who wishes to move must:
- File a petition to relocate with the court. The petition contains information about why and where the parent wants to relocate, why relocating is in the child's best interests, how they propose to handle custody post-relocation, etc. After filing the petition, that parent must serve the other parent with a notice of the relocation case using a third party (often a law enforcement officer).
- Once the other parent is served, they have 20 days to respond. They can file a response detailing why they oppose the relocation.
- After the other parent files their response, the court will set a date for a hearing. At the hearing, both parents will present their case for why the relocation should or should not occur.
- After both parties have presented their cases, the judge will make a final decision, either accepting or rejecting the relocation attempt.
How Do Courts Decide Whether a Relocation Should Happen?
In a relocation case, the court's primary concern is ensuring that relocating is in the child's best interests (and preventing the relocation if it isn't).
To achieve that goal, courts consider several factors:
- The child's relationship with both parents;
- The child's age and needs;
- How relocating would impact the child (whether it would be easy for them to make new friends, adjust to a new school, etc.);
- How relocating would impact the parents (whether it would result in one parent seeing the child less, for example);
- Whether the child has any special needs that the relocation may affect;
- Whether relocating would provide the child with greater opportunities;
- The parents' current relationship with one another and how relocating may impact that rapport;
- If one parent opposes the relocation, why;
- The motives of the parent requesting the relocation;
- The child's preference, depending on their age;
- The history of each parent (whether one has a history of substance abuse, cruelty, failing to meet expectations in the custody arrangement, etc.).
As you can see, courts have a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to how they handle relocation cases. For that reason, ensuring you're represented by an experienced Tallahassee relocation lawyer is essential.
At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., our Tallahassee relocation attorneys will work with you to protect your parental rights and pursue your child's best interests.
To schedule a consultation with our team for your relocation case, contact us online or via phone at (850) 307-5211.