Relocations with a child from the Judge’s Perspective

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Relocation on Monday, August 26, 2013.

Have you ever wondered what the judge deciding your divorce case thinks?

Relocation is your right to move away from another parent with the children more than 50 miles for more than 60 days.

The Family Law Section Commentator magazine contains useful articles written by lawyers, judges and professionals. I currently serve as chair of the Commentator, and in winter’s issue, Judge Daniel H. Sleet and Jason Rice wrote an excellent article on relocation cases . . . from the judge’s point of view.

Judge Sleet is currently serving as an appellate judge on Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals, and Jason M. Rice is his Staff Attorney. Although the article is written for lawyers and professionals, anyone interested in relocation cases would benefit from reading this brief article.

So, what did Judge Sleet think was the “perfect hearing”? Consider some of the things that judge thought he needed to hear about in order to determine the best interest of the child:

A guardian ad litem or parenting coordinator to assess each parent’s relationship with the minor child, and their respective home environments.

A child psychologist or other professional to conduct individual and family counseling with the parents and child in order to form a professional opinion about the appropriateness of a proposed relocation.

Teachers from the present and prospective schools to testify about the child’s ability to transition to a new school.

Evidence of substance abuse, domestic violence, violation of timesharing agreements, lack of involvement with the child, and unpaid child support.

If you are involved in a relocation case, consider the judge’s perspective, and what evidence you can come up with to prove that moving away is in the child’s best interest, or that it is not.