Law Offices Of Andrew Merlo, P.A.


(561) 893-9993

Law Offices Of Andrew Merlo, P.A.

Why Do I Need An Attorney If I’m Relocating?

When you are going through the initial child custody arrangements, it is unlikely that you planned for life’s curveballs that might pop up later. Sometimes a parent needs to relocate for a new job, a promotion, to take care of a sick family member, or an educational opportunity. If you move more than 50 miles away from your child, you will need to modify your current arrangement to accommodate your move. Your attorney will protect your rights as a parent. Nothing is more important to a parent than their child. It’s not a situation that you want to risk by going it alone. You need someone on your team to help you get what you need.

What If My Child Support Agreement Limits Me To Certain Counties And Not Mileage?

That’s okay too! If you and the other parent of your children have already dictated a certain geographical area within your original agreement, then you likely don’t need to modify your agreement if you plan to live within that area. If the other parent is refusing to cooperate with the move and wants to adjust your visitation or time-sharing responsibilities, you should consult with your attorney about your options.

Why Can’t We Just Agree To A New Arrangement On Our Own?

You can always make an effort to make new arrangements on your own. When you decide on a new time sharing agreement it is important to file the appropriate documentation with the court system. If the documentation has not been filed, then your agreement may not be enforceable if you have issues down the road. Your attorney can file the appropriate documents for you.

What If I Have No Choice But To Move? Do I Have To Leave My Kids Behind?

Every case is different and will require a unique approach. Some instances of relocation which might prevent you from taking your child could include imprisonment or a change to active duty military status. Other issues might be a little more flexible, like moving out of state because you are offered a better paying job. You need to be able to support yourself and your family financially so you decide that the move is the best option for you. Your attorney will be able to help you come up with the best arrangement for you and one that protects the best interest of your children. This is why an attorney who is experienced in complex matters is crucial, as they know what works and what doesn’t in these situations.

What Happens If We Can’t Agree On A New Parenting Plan?

Moving when you have children can be very difficult. There are many factors that need to be addressed, such as a local support system, school, daycare centers, extra-curricular activities like clubs and sports teams. The best way to amend a parenting agreement is to get consent from the other parent before the move and work out a plan. If you can’t agree on a plan, the court will take all of the information about your specific situation and come up with a plan for you. This isn’t always ideal as the agreement might not be what either parent wants. Often, alternative dispute resolution is used to come to an agreement before taking your case in front of a judge. This would occur at a mediation where a mediator assists negotiations between the parties to come up with the best solution for both parties. Your attorney will accompany you to mediation to protect your rights as a parent during the negotiations.

What Factors Are Considered In Deciding If My Child Can Move With Me?

When a judge is making decisions for modifying a parenting agreement, Florida law says they can look at the following factors in making their determination:

  1. the nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the parent proposing the relocation and the other parent not relocating
  2. the age and developmental stage of the child, their needs, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s overall development
  3. the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating parent and the child through a substitute arrangement taking into account the difficulty the distance will create
  4. If appropriate, the child’s preferences
  5. Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the parent
  6. Both parent’s reasons for relocating or opposing the relocation
  7. The current employment and economic circumstances of each parent and if the relocation will improve the circumstances
  8. The relocation is sought in good faith
  9. The available opportunities to the objecting parent if the relocation occurs
  10. If there is a history of substance abuse or domestic violence as defined in Florida Statute 741.28
  11. Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child or as set forth in Florida Child Custody Law 61.13.

As you can see there are a lot of factors that come into play. Each case is evaluated individually, so there is no chart of one size fits all time-sharing plan that will automatically be applied to your situation.

When Should I Call My Attorney?

When you find out that you may have to move or if the other parent has decided to move, you need to call right away. The courts do not look favorably on parents who abandon their prior agreement and move without making a solid plan for their children. You need help right away, before you move, to make sure that you are protected and your kids are protected.

For more information on Parental Relocation, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (561) 893-9993 today.

Andrew Merlo, Esq.

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(561) 893-9993