When parents separate or divorce, both parties typically have the right to continue a relationship with the children. The location where each parent lives directly impacts the parties’ ability to see the children at regular times. If one party chooses to move, the parenting schedule that the family maintained might become untenable.
If a parent with majority timesharing (custody/visitation) primary residential custody of the children decides to move a significant distance away, the non-majority timesharing parent (non-custodial parent), might suffer a loss as a result. For this reason, the courts limit the ability of a divorced or single parent to move if the other parent does not support the change.
Parents looking to move with their minor children and those who oppose another parent’s move should speak to an attorney in Palm Beach County to discuss their rights and options. An experienced West Palm Beach relocation lawyer could help you find possible solutions to your relocation needs and guide you through the legal process.
Defining Relocation in West Palm Beach
Not every move is considered relocation under state law. If a parent chooses to move locally, the impact of that decision on the family’s daily lives and parenting schedule will be minimal. Any move less than 50 miles away from the current residence of the parent, will not generally be of concern for the courts.
There are also situations in which a move is only temporary. For example, a parent might move their children to seek specialized medical care, an educational opportunity, or to visit family. If the move lasts less than 60 consecutive days, it is not considered an official relocation.
In cases when the move is more than 50 miles away and is permanent for the foreseeable future, the non-custodial parent will have the right to challenge the relocation. Individuals in this situation should contact a relocation attorney in Palm Beach County to learn how to legally proceed with their complaint.
Agreed Relocation Terms
Not every decision to move is contentious. Parents may both agree that the move will be beneficial for the children. In these cases, the process will run more smoothly as there is no conflict to address.
However, even in agreed-upon relocations, the court must enter a new order that details the new terms. If the family’s visitation schedule is changing because of the move, the modified document should include the new parenting plan. It is important to have the documents that include all changes to prevent future issues.
If a party contests the other parent’s decision to move, the court will examine many factors when making their decision. In cases that involve older children, the court will look at the preference of those children. The parent who wishes to relocate will carry the burden of demonstrating valid reasons for their decision to move.
One purpose that a person might have for relocating includes improvements to their economic circumstances. A parent wishing to move to a less expensive location or accept a higher-paying job may have a good argument for why they want to move. However, the move may also carry negative impacts for the children, such as leaving an environment where they are part of a supportive community and close to family and friends.
The court will also look at the reason the parent opposing the relocation wishes to stop the move. If the relocation does not allow a reasonable continuation of a relationship with the parent opposing the move, the court may deny the request. A knowledgeable relocation attorney in West Palm Beach could evaluate all of the unique factors in a case and counsel a parent regarding their best course of action.
Reach Out to a Palm Beach County Relocation Attorney
Co-parenting can be challenging and lead to many difficulties for the parents and children involved. Some circumstances could force a parent to make accommodations or turn down opportunities to maintain a parenting schedule.
If your family is struggling with this issue, you should consider hiring an attorney who could help you find a reasonable solution. West Palm Beach relocation lawyer Charles D. Jamieson could be your advocate if you are planning on requesting or challenging a relocation through a Palm Beach County court. Contact us today to learn more about your options.