On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Relocation on Friday, February 14, 2014.

I will be speaking on a panel hosted by Family Court Services on Wednesday February 19th from Noon to 2:00PM at the Lawson E. Thomas Family Courthouse. Anyone who practices in this area or is interested should attend.When one parent moves away with the children from another parent more than 50 miles for more than 60 days it is called a relocation in Florida.

One of the most difficult situations facing parents and children is when a parent wants to relocate to another city. These are called relocation cases. Florida is in the Sun Belt, and is naturally a very mobile society.

Residential moves are very common among parents after divorce. Parents want to pursue new job opportunities, earn a degree, and return to their home community where parents and extended family live, or remarry.

The non-relocating parent usually opposes the child moving because it makes it very difficult to stay meaningfully involved with the child, or sustain a quality parent-child relationship. This is especially true when the moving parent wants to relocate with a very young child.

Relocation cases are very fact-driven, and call for a thorough investigation of the family’s context and circumstances. It is common to request guardians, psychological experts, social investigations, and parental responsibility evaluations in relocation cases.

Very often relocation cases raise issues of parental involvement with the child. Allegations are frequently made that one parent is trying to alienate the child from the other parent, and the parent who is feeling shut-out is alleging that the other parent is engaging in gate-closing behaviors to hinder involvement with the child.

Relocation cases are governed by §61.13001 of the Florida Statutes. It is a technical statute, with deadlines and requirements that are specifically stated and enforced. Both parents are charged with understanding its details, and are well served by a lot of preparation and sound legal advice.

For more information on the Family Court Services Unit of the 11th Judicial Circuit click here.

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