Law Office of Steven R. Brenners

How Are Transportation Costs Etc. Worked Out If Relocation Is Approved?

If there is a contested relocation trial and the court grants the petition for the party seeking to relocate, there typically has to be a schedule for contact with the child, and a determination of transportation costs. These determinations are made on an individual basis, depending on each parent’s ability to pay. If one parent seeks to relocate because they have a great job waiting for them at the other end of the country, then the court is likely going to order that the relocating party pay for the transportation costs. If the parent has to leave because they cannot afford to remain where they are living, and need to move in with their family members, then the parent who stays behind might have to pay for the costs. It’s a very case-specific allocation of costs and expenses based on the ability of each party to pay at that time.

How Is Jurisdiction Defined If The Parents Reside In Different States?

Assuming that the action which surrounds the relocation takes place in Florida, Florida would have jurisdiction as long as the non-relocating party remains in the State. If the non-relocating parent leaves Florida, then we’d have to look at the interstate statutes or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The general rule is that if the initial determination was made in the state of Florida and the non-relocating parent remains in Florida, then Florida would maintain its jurisdiction over the child.

Will The Court Change The Visitation Schedule If Relocation Is Approved?

If relocation is allowed, the court will use its best good faith efforts to maintain the relationship between the non-relocating parent and the child. For example, if the mother relocates with the child out of the state of Florida and the father remains here, the court will attempt to make up as much of the time with the non-relocating parent as possible. The Court may award to the non-relocating parent additional time during the summer or on school breaks. In a typical time-sharing schedule, we try to provide to the parents a time-sharing schedule which provides as close to equal time as possible. We don’t try to keep parents away from a child for weeks at a time.

Obviously, that is going to change if a child is out of state, so a parent who sees their child every other weekend and once or twice a week might have to have that time concentrated.

Will I Have To Go To Court To Discuss A Relocation Request?

If the parties agree to relocation, then they just file the agreement with the court explaining what the new time-sharing schedule is going to be and the financial arrangements for the travel. They do not have to go to court; they just file it with the court and are done. If the relocation is contested, then they are going to have to go to court and have a trial. We could also try to work things out through mediation, but eventually may have to have court hearings.

In Florida, How Does The Court Process Associated With Relocation Work?

We’ve already discussed the fact that if one parent wants to relocate and the other parent agrees to the relocation, then the process is quite simple. The parties are required to file a detailed agreement with the court, and hopefully, both parties will abide by the terms of the agreement.

If one parent objects to relocation, a petition is required to be filed. We’ve previously detailed what the petition needs to include. Once submitted, the court makes a determination, if the parties cannot agree. The good news for a relocating parent is that the statute mandates that the court give a parent who desires to relocate, a quick temporary hearing. The reason for a quick temporary hearing is that it often takes months (and sometimes a year or more) to get to trial. If the court makes a decision for relocation, a parent has 30 days to appeal that decision. The appeal would be heard by the District Court of Appeals in Florida.

Additional Information On Relocation In Florida

In family law, we generally try to reach agreements and have the parties reach a compromise. We can often reach a compromise on the amount and length of alimony and distribution of assets. My experience tells me that relocation is a very difficult issue on which to reach a compromise because it really goes to the heart of the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent. Relocation is the most difficult issue to mediate and upon which to reach an agreement, when one parent is adamant in his or her objection to relocating. That conflict will often lead to trial because it is a very tough issue on which to compromise. If the party who wants to relocate wants to move 2000 miles away with the child, then there is a very little area for compromise. You either agree or you don’t agree, but compromise in that regard is often unobtainable.

For more information on Transportation Costs In Relocation, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (954) 755-0126 today.

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