Imagine you have a 10-year-old son. You’re a single mother sharing physical and legal custody with the father of your child. He spends half the time with you and half the time with his dad. However, you just got the job offer of your dreams, making triple your normal salary. The problem is: The job is out of state and your custody orders say you can’t move out of state without permission from the other parent.
Your dilemma wouldn’t be a dilemma if you didn’t have to consider the opinion of your child’s father, and the court. However, the law is the law and if you try to move out of state without permission, you will violate your child custody orders and probably lose your parental rights.
Here are few ways you might be able to move out of state:
— If you already have express consent: Express consent is a relocation clause that would already be contained in your child custody agreement. When you have express consent, it means that you may be able get the permission to move out of state that you require.
— If you’ve given notice and received consent: Another strategy involves giving sufficient notice to the other parent before your intended move, and then receiving consent from the other parent. If you can gain the other parent’s agreement, then you may be able to move.
— If the distance isn’t too far away: If your child custody agreement limits your move by distance, say by a radius of 100 miles, you might already have permission to make the move across state lines if it happens to be within the designated area.
— Burden of proof: In other situations, you might be able to provide good faith burden of proof to show how and why the move would be in the best interests of your child. Perhaps the move will make your child closer to family members and allow you to provide a much better quality of life financially. You may also need to prove that you already have a job offer locked down.
Every appeal to a Florida family law court for permission to relocate will be decided based on its own factual scenario and the legal arguments brought forward by the parties. If you’re currently embroiled in a custody dispute about a relocation, Mercedes R. Wechsler, PA, can help you navigate this issue in a legally appropriate manner.