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Relocation

For divorced or separated parents, one parent’s desire to relocate to another state or country—or even somewhere else in Florida—can have a significant impact on both parents’ child custody and time-sharing rights. In some cases, receiving permission to move can be very challenging, as courts almost always try to avoid disrupting a child’s living situation. Martin-Schwartz Family Law we have experience representing parents who wish to relocate, as well as parents seeking to stop their ex-partner from moving with their child.

Domestic Relocation

Florida’s parental relocation statute significantly restricts the right of a parent to move away from the parent with whom the child spends less time. The law defines relocation as moving 50 miles or more from the residence of the other parent, even within the State of Florida. The parent who wants to move must file and serve a written notice upon the other parent, which includes the following information:

  • A description of the neighborhood and area
  • The address and phone number of the intended new residence
  • The date of the intended move or proposed relocation
  • The reasons for relocation (if one reason is based upon a written job offer, the offer must be attached)
  • A proposed time-sharing schedule and transportation arrangements

Proving that relocation should be granted is often difficult, especially if the other parent has been active in his or her child’s life. However, receiving permission to move is more likely if an agreeable substitute parenting plan, including contribution toward transportation costs of the other parent, is provided.

International Relocation

Parents who want to relocate internationally generally come under more scrutiny from courts than parents making domestic moves, as judges take into account reasons for the move, distance, and conditions in the destination country. International laws regarding child custody must also be considered when one parent wants to move to another country with a child, either after divorce or at the time of separation.

For example, the Hague Convention, which governs nearly all European countries, provides for immediate return of children who are taken from their country of habitual residence in violation of custody rights. The Hague Convention also ensures that relocation and custody questions are decided in the state or country where the child has been living.

Martin-Schwartz Family Law helps mothers and fathers enforce their time-sharing rights across national and international borders. We understand the nuances involved in enforcing custody rights in Florida, the United States and around the world.

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