Once a parenting plan and time-sharing agreement are in place after a divorce, parents in Orlando are required to comply with the terms. However, if there’s a significant change in circumstances – such as a parent’s need to move away or relocate – a custody order can potentially be changed.
Parents are often at odds when one relocates and wants to adjust an existing child custody agreement. Regardless of whether you’re advocating for the change because you’re moving or want to fight to keep things the same, Conti Moore Law, PLLC can help.
Our Orlando move-away and relocation lawyers have more than 50 years of combined experience. We know that relocating can have serious impacts on families and their children. Let us help you be their biggest advocate and fight for an outcome that is truly in their best interests.
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Why You Should Hire Conti Moore Law, PLLC to Help With Your Move-Away Case
Anytime a parent wants to change a time-sharing agreement or custody order, things can get stressful. Courts will require proof of a substantial change in circumstances. There’s often a good chance that there will be pushback from the parent who isn’t asking for the change.
Now imagine a request to change a child custody order involves physically relocating a child. Judges will want proof that the change is in the child’s best interests and the other parent may fight even harder to keep things the same.
Hiring an experienced Orlando divorce lawyer is the best way to make the process as smooth as possible and limit the adverse impacts on the child.
Since 2012, Conti Moore Law, PLLC has been a fierce advocate for parents in Orlando, Florida. With more than 50+ years of combined experience in family law, our attorneys understand that stakes are incredibly high when a child is involved.
Whether you’re the parent who wants to move away or need to challenge a request to relocate your children, our central Florida law firm is here to help.
What is Parental Relocation?
Under Florida’s relocation statute, parental relocation occurs when a custodial parent moves:
- 50 miles away from their principal residence
- For a minimum of 60 consecutive days (not counting vacation and travel).
When a parent relocates, they can file a petition to modify the existing parenting plan and time-sharing agreement. This might involve a formal request to have the child relocate to the parent’s new primary residence or adjust visitation so that the parent can stay in contact with the child.,
An Overview of Filing a Relocation Petition in Orlando, FL
There are two ways a relocation request can unfold: by agreement of both parents or through a formal relocation petition with the court.
When Both Parents Agree to Relocation
Move-aways are easiest when both parents agree that it’s in the best interest of the child to (a) have them move or (b) adjust the time-sharing agreement to accommodate the relocating parent’s move.
In this situation, the parents would be required to execute a new time-sharing schedule, sign an agreement, and file it with a family law judge in Orange County for approval.
No evidentiary hearing is required, but either parent can request one within 10 days of filing the petition.
When Parents Aren’t on the Same Page About Relocation
Not all parents will agree to have their children move away or want to modify a custody agreement to help the other.
In these situations, the parent who is relocating or moving away must file a relocation petition with the court.
The move-away petition must include:
- A description of the new physical address
- The mailing address, if different
- The phone number associated with the new address
- The date of the intended move or relocation, and
- Specific details about the reasons for the proposed relocation (including a copy of a job offer if the move is job-related).
The parent seeking the move away court order must also provide a new proposal for time-sharing and visitation, including details regarding any transportation that may be required.
A copy of the petition must also be served to the other parent as well as other family members who have visitation rights under the existing time-sharing agreement.
What Factors Are Important in Move-Away and Relocation Cases?
If the relocation request is contested, a family law judge in Orange County will review the petition and have the final say.
Here’s what a court will consider when deciding whether to approve a petition to relocate a child:
- The reason for the move
- The child’s age
- The child’s needs
- The impact the move would have on the child
- The child’s relationship with both parents, and
- The child’s preference.
Ultimately, the court will try to determine if relocating the child is in their best interest. Does the child have a closer relationship and bond with the parent that’s relocating? Would denying the relocation request cause the child more harm than good?
The court will do its best to figure out what arrangement will serve the child best. If the child can demonstrate awareness and understanding of the situation, a judge will often place great emphasis on that child’s personal preference.
Can I Just Move Away With My Child Without a Relocation Agreement?
Not if the move is considered (a) a relocation as defined by Florida law above or (b) would violate the terms of the existing time-sharing agreement.
Moving away without going through the proper processes can result in criminal fines and a finding of contempt by a family law court in Orange County. Both of these could have permanent and long-lasting effects. In fact, you could potentially face losing custody of your children altogether if you attempt to move away without the court’s permission.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Orlando Move-Away and Relocation Attorneys
Moving becomes complicated when parents are divorced. Whether you want to request your child’s relocation or fight it, it’s important to have an attorney involved in the process.
That’s where Conti Moore Law, PLLC can help. Our Orlando move away and relocation attorneys are the award-winning, respected legal advocates you need in your corner. We fight aggressively for our clients every single day and help them achieve favorable outcomes for their families.
We are here to help you in your time of need. Contact our Orlando, Florida law office to learn more about filing a petition for relocation and modifications of child custody orders. Our team is standing by to take your call.
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