Two. Even if you are both in agreement with the move, there are new requirements.
Three. If you move without following the new procedure, you may be held in contempt of court and that’s only the beginning. If you don’t follow the new procedure, your violation can be used against you in court. It can be a reason to change custody. It can also be a reason for the judge to order you to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees and costs. And the judge can order you to pay all the child’s travel expenses for visitation while the case is pending. The judge can even order you to return the child to the area permanently. These may seem like severe sanctions, but
Four. The new statute spells out exactly what information you need to provide to the other parent, when you have to give it, and how you provide the information in a Notice of Intent to Relocate to the other parent.
Five. The other parent has 30 days to object to the move. Like the Notice, the objection has to contain specific information and be provided to the custodial parent in a certain way. If there is no objection in 30 days, the custodial parent can file the Notice with the court and the court will enter an order approving the relocation plan contained in the Notice.
Six. If there is an objection, the custodial parent has to ask the court for permission to move. The court will have a hearing to determine if it’s in the child’s best interest to move. The hearing gets priority on the judge’s schedule. At the hearing, the judge will consider ten factors about the relocation, along with any of the usual “best interest” child custody factors of Florida Statute 61.13.
Seven. The court will enter an order for time-sharing that can include telephone, Internet, and webcam contact, and any other arrangements so the child has frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact the other parent. The order can adjust child support and account for the increased transportation costs, but still has to consider the Child Support Guidelines.
Over the next week, we’ll look more closely at