Imagine you are the noncustodial parent and you only get to see your child for a couple of days, every other week. The time that passes in-between each visit is an agony. Now imagine that your ex-spouse wants to move away to another state, so you will virtually never get to see your son or daughter — except for holidays and certain weeks during the summer each year. If your ex is trying to relocate with your child, you might be able to defend against the move.
What you might point out in your defense:
Point out the terms of your child custody orders or child custody agreement
In many situations, a custodial parent has no right to move away with his or her child if the noncustodial parent with visitation rights doesn’t approve. Therefore, get ready to highlight the reasons why the move is not allowed by your custody agreement.
The move is not in the best interests of your child
Florida courts will usually only approve of a relocation request in the case of joint custody if the court believes that it will be in the child’s best interests to move away. Your ex will probably try to show why the move is in your child’s interests. Therefore, you will want to cast doubt on these reasons while producing evidence to support why your child’s best life is to remain where he or she is at. Fortunately, the courts tend to favor your child’s ability to spend as much time as possible with both parents, so your spouse could be facing an uphill battle.
Show proof of your involvement with your child
It’s important to start gathering evidence and/or proof of your involvement in your child’s life. A visitation journal in which you document the activities you enjoy with your child on visitation days is a great way to show what you and your child did together. Social media feeds with pictures of you and your child are another great way to document your activities together. Furthermore, consider making a note of pickup and drop off times on visitation days, what you did together and other child care activities you were involved in.
There are other things you can do to defend against a relocation request. If you’re worried about your spouse’s ability to move away with your child, our law office is available to help.