Effective Legal Services
for Parental Relocation Concerns

Parental relocation after divorce is a complex decision with many legal and emotional repercussions for the parents and the child. Relocation is defined by Florida law as a parent moving 50 miles or more from their current residence for a period of at least 60 days. It does not include a temporary move for medical care, vacation, or short-term job assignment. An amicable agreement between co-parents for relocation, including a request for post-judgment modifications, is signed and submitted to family court for approval. In a tumultuous relationship between co-parents, relocation can be viewed as an act of retaliation or revenge and requires legal intervention.

Creative Solutions for Complex Family Problems

The attorneys at the Boudreau Law Firm focus exclusively on family law matters. We understand the complexities of challenging family dynamics. Our law firm has an unparalleled reputation of excellence in handling sensitive issues related to relocation. We know that both parents having meaningful contact with a child is vital for the child’s self-image and development. Our attorneys offer comprehensive and compassionate advocacy, always in the best interests of the child.
Factors that the Court considers in Granting or Denying Relocation with a Child include but are not limited to:
  • The child’s relationship with both parents, especially the level of involvement of the non-custodial parent with the child
  • The impact that relocation will have on the child’s physical, mental and emotional development, especially for children with special needs
  • Good faith reasons for requesting the relocation
  • The child’s age and preference
  • The economic status of the parent that is seeking relocation
  • Compliance with financial obligations such as child support, alimony payments, and the division of marital property
  • Support systems for the child in a new location, such as grandparents and other family members
  • The reasons that the co-parent opposes the move

An agreement for relocation must include both parents’ consent, a revised timesharing schedule and child support payments, and a detailed plan for the child to maintain a relationship with both parents. It includes transportation arrangements for visits and a schedule of contact via cell phone or video conference calls. The plan must include a communication method for both parents to be kept up-to-date on school activities, medical concerns, and other details regarding the child’s upbringing. If the parents cannot reach an amicable agreement, a judge at an evidentiary hearing will decide the outcome based on the child’s needs.

Legal Ramifications of Relocation without an Agreement or a Court Order

A parent who relocates with a child against the co-parent’s wishes and fails to obtain authorization from the court is subject to contempt charges. Sanctions can include an order to compel the child’s return, fines, and parenting plan modifications. Non-compliance with the court order to return a child has serious legal consequences, including jail time for parental abduction, changes in the parenting plan, and perhaps a change in custody to favor the non-custodial parent.

We help you Navigate Safely through Difficult Family Transitions

Attorneys Gayle Boudreau and Robert A. Sandow, Attorney of Counsel, know that relocation is a complex decision with significant legal implications. We can help you explore your options and take appropriate legal action to achieve the best outcome for every family member. Our office is located in Lake City, Florida, and we represent clients throughout the Third Judicial Circuit. Call to schedule an appointment with our office at 386-961-8001. Our office hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.