Relocation after Divorce
As a Family Law Attorney in Weston, relocation cases sometimes present the most difficult situations. A relocation case exists when the Primary Residential Parent of minor children decide he/she wishes to move out of the area. This is often due to a re-marriage, a job transfer, promotion or an attempt to improve the quality of life. This doesn’t seem to be a difficult issue, but when weighing it against the rights of the non-custodial parent (the parent who exercises visitation), it should now be seen in a different light.
Often times the Primary Residential Parent has only good intentions. The Court however must decide if the true intent of the parent is to take the child away from the other parent. In any event, the Primary Residential parent does not have an absolute right to move away with the child. This often times comes as a surprise to that parent, who feels that his/her designation as the primary parent affords him/her certain rights.
The Court must weigh the benefits that such a move will have for the child/children, versus the negative impact that a separation from the visiting parent will have. It is sometimes a very difficult decision. Florida Statutes requires the Court to consider the following:
- Whether the move would be likely to improve the general quality of life for both the Residential parent and the child.
- The extent to which visitation rights have been allowed and exercised
- Whether the primary residential parent, once out of the Jurisdiction, will be likely to comply with any substitute visitation arrangements
- Whether the substitute visitation will be adequate to foster a continuing meaningful relationship between the child and the secondary residential parent
- Whether the cost of transportation is financially affordable by one or both parents.
- Whether the move is in the best interests of the child
As you can see, there is no simple answer to a relocation scenario. I would advise anyone who is contemplating such a move, to consult with an attorney before he/she finalizes any plans.
The divorce attorneys at the Law Firm of Evan H. Baron are experienced in child relocation cases and can help clients in Weston and Broward determine if the relocation coincides with Florida Statutes.