New Child Custody Laws In Florida
The Florida child relocation law requires a custodial parent who wants to move a child more than 50 miles notify the non-custodial parent of a proposed relocation by sending a Notice of Intent to Relocate.
Your Notice of Intent to Relocate must be sent to the other parent before you move. The Notice is a specific form and must include:
1. A description of the intended new residence – include the state, city, and specific physical address, if you already know it.
If the residential parent is entitled to a public records exemption of his or her address (police, foster parents and certain other public employees), the court has to order modification of the disclosure requirements of this section, so that confidentiality is maintained. One suggested way of handling this is to put the exempt information on a separate sheet of paper. On the Notice, say that the information is provided on a separate sheet and is exempt by Florida law. Provide the Notice and the extra sheet to the other parent, but only file the Notice.
2. The mailing address of the new residence, if not the same as the physical address, if you already know it.
3. The home telephone number of the new residence, if you already know it.
4. The date you intend to move.
5. A detailed statement of the specific reasons for the move. If one of the reasons is based upon a written job offer, the offer must be attached to the Notice.
6. A proposal for the revised schedule of visitation and for the new transportation arrangements. If you dont include this part, the court can dismiss your request. If there is a current, valid order abating, terminating, or restricting visitation, failure to comply with this provision will not cause dismissal. Thats also true if you have another “good cause” reason before you want to move. In either of these cases, the judge will still want to know your plan for future visitation if it is ordered.
You can also change the child support to consider the increased transportation costs. If you want to do this, you need to explain exactly how you arrived at the new child support amount. The court needs to be sure that the children are adequately supported. Reducing the child support more than 5% from the amount in the guidelines has to be clearly explained.
7. This statement in capital letters:
AN OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED RELOCATION MUST BE MADE IN WRITING, FILED WITH THE COURT, AND SERVED ON THE PARENT OR OTHER PERSON SEEKING TO RELOCATE WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER SERVICE OF THIS NOTICE OF INTENT TO RELOCATE. IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY OBJECT TO THE RELOCATION, THE RELOCATION WILL BE ALLOWED, UNLESS IT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD, WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE AND WITHOUT A HEARING.
8. Your mailing address – where you will receive the objection, if one is filed.
9. A certificate of service showing how and when you gave the Notice to the non-custodial parent.
10. You must sign the Notice of Intent to Relocate under oath and under penalty of perjury and send a copy of it to the non-custodial parent in accordance with the certificate of service. If there is no pending case, you must send the Notice by certified mail, returned receipt and restricted delivery or have a process server or the Sheriffs office personally serve the Notice on the other parent. The original is not filed with the clerk yet.
You have a duty to update the information you give in the Notice of Intent as it becomes known. So if you find an apartment in the new location, you need to provide that address as a Supplemental Notice. Remember you can send papers by mail after the first paper is served personally, so the Supplemental Notice can be sent by mail.
What if the Other Side Objects The non-custodial parent then has 30 days to object to the relocation. If no objection is filed, you have to file a motion and ask the court to ratify the relocation. The motion has to be personally served on the other parent. Unless the other parent requests a hearing, the court will ratify the plan according to what is in your Notice of Intent to Relocate, including the visitation and transportation schedules and child support. No hearing is required.
If you receive an objection to the Notice, the parent who wants to move has to file a motion for permission to relocate and attach the Notice of Intent, including the certificate of service. The court will schedule a priority hearing.
At that hearing, you will have to show that, more likely than not, the relocation is in the best interest of the child. The judge will look at it from the childs perspective, not the best interest of the parent. If the judge initially finds that the move is in the childs best interest, the non-relocating parent then has a chance to prove that the relocation is not truly in the childs best interest.
Can I Move in the Meantime If you received an objection after giving Notice, you cant move unless you get a temporary order allowing it.The court can enter a temporary order permitting the relocation if:
1. The required Notice of Intent to Relocate was provided on a time; and
2. The court finds preliminary evidence that theres a likelihood the court will approve the relocation based on certain factors at the final hearing,
But, the court may not consider the temporary relocation as a factor in reaching its final decision. Before you ask for a temporary order, consider whether you want to move with the possibility than you may be ordered to return. Also consider whether you want to have two hearings before you ask for a Temporary Relocation Order.
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