A common issue that parents face after the initial child custody location is when the parent that has the majority of time-sharing, or primary custody, over the minor child(ren), seeks to relocate from the principal address or residence. When speaking about “relocation” in this blog we are referring to a distance of fifty miles or more from that principal residence and a time period of sixty days or more. A temporary move (or absence) for reasons such as vacation, education, or health care do not qualify.
The easiest way to resolve relocation is by agreement. This means that the parents reach a settlement on how to modify the current child custody, time-sharing, arrangement as a result of the relocation. Often, when we are talking about a significant geographic relocation, the typical shared parenting plan that awards one parent every-other weekend visitation becomes logistically impossible. As a result of this logistically impossible scenario, that parent may receive greater visitation with the child(ren) during extended winter and spring breaks as well as longer summer visitation.
If the parties can not agree to a change in the time sharing schedule as a result of relocation, Florida Statute 61.13001 requires the parent seeking to relocate to file a “petition to relocate” and serve the petition on the other parent. After service of the petition, the Court can issue temporary orders, including a temporary order restraining the child from relocating or ordering the child to return if the parent/child have already relocated.
If relocation is contested, the court must make a determination on whether or not it is in the best interest of the child to relocate with the parent. Some of the factors the court considers are:
In every divorce case, either spouse may request alimony or spousal support. While the traditional notion has been that women are entitled to spousal support based on their traditional role as a stay at home wife/mother, nothing precludes the father/husband to seek alimony when the facts or circumstances are appropriate. The determination of alimony is a multi-step process. First, the court must determine whether the party seeking alimony has a need for alimony. Second, if the court determines that the spouse does in fact have a need for alimony, the court must then determine whether or not the other spouse actually has the ability to pay alimony. These two steps are generally determined and reviewed by conducting an analysis of each parties current financial situation including their assets, liabilities and income.
If the court is satisfied that there is a need and the ability to pay exists, the court must then determine the type of alimony to be awarded. In Florida the different types of alimony are bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, permanent alimony or any combination thereof. Alimony may be paid periodically, lump sum payment of both.
In determining the type and amount of alimony to award, the court must then review:
– the adultery of either spouse and circumstances thereof
– The standard of living established during the marriage.