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Florida Mom benefits from relocating

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I live in Florida. Me and my 7 year old son will benefit by relocating to GA, to live with my mom. I went to mediation and wanted to set up visitation schedule with this in mind. Opposing counsel objected, said we could only mediate on visitation while living in Florida. I am " primary residential parent". Now, we went to court on the issue of relocation, the opposing counsel says if I stay in Fl, then the mediation agreement governs, if I try to relocate, they will fight for child custody. Meaning, I am a good enough parent if I stay in Fl, but no good enough if I leave. Can this be done? what are my options?


Senior Member
This can be done. What you will need to do is retain an attorney to fight for the relocation. If the non custodial parent does give you consent to move (ie: Permits you to move and work out an alternative visitation) then that means that they are contesting the move. Which then, brings you to court for a judge to decide if you can move with the child or not. You can always move, but you *may* not be able to take the child.

Gather your reasons for leaving the state, and make every effort to come to an agreement with the ex to accommodate his visitation. IE: Offer him a nice visitation package if you move and see if he accepts. If not, you will need to go to court.

Good luck!


The state of Florida has very specific criteria which must be met before any court will approve a relocation which goes against the wishes of one of the child's parents. Here's the link that lists what the judge will want to know
very specifically:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0061/titl0061.htm&StatuteYear=2000&Title=->2000->Chapter 61

from 61.13

d) No presumption shall arise in favor of or against a request to relocate when a primary residential parent seeks to move the child and the move will materially affect the current schedule of contact and access with the secondary residential parent. In making a determination as to whether the primary residential parent may relocate with a child, the court must consider the following factors:

1. Whether the move would be likely to improve the general quality of life for both the residential parent and the child.

2. The extent to which visitation rights have been allowed and exercised.

3. Whether the primary residential parent, once out of the jurisdiction, will be likely to comply with any substitute visitation arrangements.

4. Whether the substitute visitation will be adequate to foster a continuing meaningful relationship between the child and the secondary residential parent.

5. Whether the cost of transportation is financially affordable by one or both parties.

6. Whether the move is in the best interests of the child.

(3) For purposes of shared parental responsibility and primary residence, the best interests of the child shall include an evaluation of all factors affecting the welfare and interests of the child, including, but not limited to:

(a) The parent who is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the nonresidential parent.

(b) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parents and the child.

(c) The capacity and disposition of the parents to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in lieu of medical care, and other material needs.

(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.

(e) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home.

(f) The moral fitness of the parents.

(g) The mental and physical health of the parents.

(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.

(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.

(j) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent.

(k) Evidence that any party has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding a domestic violence proceeding pursuant to s. 741.30.

(l) Evidence of domestic violence or child abuse.

(m) Any other fact considered by the court to be relevant.


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