Divorce is difficult enough as it is, especially when there are children involved. Once a parenting plan or custody agreement has definitively been finalized, sometimes there are cases where either parent may need to move, whether for work, a relationship, or simply by choice. Whether you find yourself in the position of the parent who wants to move to another location or the parent who does not want their child to move, there are a whole new set of rules involved. If a job or other obligation necessitates a move, many questions can arise about how the new visitation should be handled. Visitation can now become expensive, timely, and overall more of a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.
In the state of Florida, judges must balance the custodial parent’s right to move for legitimate reasons with the non-relocating parent’s right to have contact with their children. Oftentimes, it is difficult for spouses to agree on an updated custody or visitation order, which is why a Miami divorce lawyer can help you draft your petition to relocate and ease the process.
The petition to relocate must include the following information:
- Address and phone number of the place where the parent wishes to relocate
- Date of the proposed relocation
- Reasons for the relocation, including a copy of the written job offer, if applicable
- Proposed visitation schedule after relocation, and
- Proposed plan for transportation
Once this has been filed, your ex-spouse has 20 days to respond, and if there is no response, the court can grant the relocation request without a hearing--making it incredibly important for the other parent to respond. Your ex-spouse may include in his or her response reasons why the relocation should not be allowed, as well as a personal statement clarifying how much the non-relocating parent is involved in the child’s or children’s lives.
If you relocate without approval, the judge may find you in contempt of court and you will face severe penalties, even if the child wants to move as well. This is why it is vital to have a Miami divorce lawyer on your side, helping you understand the process and file all documents and motions accordingly.
How to Modify an Order
In order to modify an order without the approval of your ex-spouse, you must get an order modifying the parents plan from the court. The court will then hold a hearing determining if the modification is for the best interest of the child. Though this is a somewhat vague guideline, your chances of proving to the court your modification is for the betterment of the child are substantially increased with the support and legal aid of a Miami divorce lawyer such as ours at Mitchell & West, LLC.
At Mitchell & West, LLC, we have seen every divorce situation under the sun and this has provided us with the know-how and experience to tackle even the most complicated of cases. Whether you are looking to relocate or wish to fight against your ex-spouse’s motion to relocate, our Miami divorce attorneys are more than willing to fight for your rights as a parents and we refuse to give up until all parties are satisfied. With years of experience and a compassionate approach, we take on every challenge and strive to be your advocate in the face of difficult times.
To speak to a representative today and schedule a consultation, contact us at 305.783.3301.