One of the most difficult and unique situations that faces a divorced or unmarried parent is the prospect of relocating more than 50 miles from their current residence with a child. Florida Statute 61.13001 provides that a parent may only permanently relocate with a child more than 50 miles from the child's current residence by agreement with the other parent or by obtaining a court order allowing the relocation. The law regarding relocation is complex and you should consult with an experienced family law attorney prior to filing an action for relocation.
Relocation cases can take a year or more to go to trial.
However, the statutes allow a party to obtain a hearing on the
issue of temporary relocation within 30 days if a motion for
temporary relocation is filed during the case. In making its
decision the court will consider the following factors:
(1) The nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duraction
of the child's relationship with the parent or other person
proposing to relocate with the child and with the
nonrelocating parent, other persons, siblings, half-siblings,
and other significant persons in the child's life.
(2) 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.
(3) The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating parent or other person and the child through substitute arrangements that take into consideration the logistics of contact, access, and time-sharing, as well as the financial circumstances of the parties; whether those factors are sufficient to foster a continuing meaningful relationship between the child and the nonrelocating parent or other person, and the likelihood of compliance with the substitute arrangements by the relocating parent or other person once he or she is out of the jurisdiction of the court.
(4) The child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child.
(5) Whether the relocation will enhance the gneral quality of life for both the parent or other person seeking the relocation and the child, including but not limited to, financial or emotional benefits or educational opportunities.
(6) The reasons each parent or other person is seeking or opposing the relocation.
(7) The current employment and economic circumstances of each parent or other person and whether the proposed relocation is necessary to improve the economic circumstances of the parent or other person seeking relocation with the child.
(8) 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, including child support, spousal support, and marital property and marital debt obligations.
(9) The career and other opportunities available to the objecting parent or other person if the relocation occurs.
(10) A history of substance abuse or domestic violence [as defined by the statutes] including a consideration of the severity of such conduct and the failure or sucess of any attempts at rehabilitation.
(11) Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child [...]
Typically, if relocation is granted the court will order contact withthe nonrelocating parent, including a long-distance parenting plan and time-sharing schedule, skype, facetime or other electronic contact. Further, the court will also consider the financial implications assosicated with travel arrangements for the child to visit with the nonrelocating parent.