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Navigating Relocation in Family Law: Legal Considerations and Procedural Requirements

Posted by LEISA WINTZ | Apr 02, 2024 | 0 Comments

In a Family Matters on Sundays episode #7, family law attorneys Nazarena and Leisa take us through the complex and often challenging world of relocations in family law cases. Relocations, defined as a parent moving more than 50 miles from their current residence, involve a myriad of legal considerations and procedural requirements that are vital to understand for anyone involved in such a case.

Defining Relocation in Family Law
It is crucial to understand what constitutes a relocation in the context of family law. According to Nazarena, a relocation in the state of Florida occurs when a parent wants to move more than 50 miles from their current residence. This definition only applies when there is already a court order in place for time sharing or when there is a pending case related to time sharing or divorce. This distinction is important to understand, as it delineates when the procedural requirements for relocation come into play.

Procedural Requirements
The attorneys emphasize that relocations come with strict procedural requirements. These include the necessity to file a petition to relocate, serve the other parent, and provide a very specific response within a particular timeframe. It's evident that compliance with these requirements is crucial, as failure to object properly can result in the court allowing the relocation by default. This illustrates the high stakes and the nuanced nature of relocation cases in family law.

Factors Considered in Relocation Cases
The podcast also delves into the factors considered by the courts when determining whether to allow a relocation. These factors include employment opportunities, the intention to permanently move, the impact on the child, financial considerations, and the facilitation of a relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent. Additionally, other factors such as substance abuse and domestic violence history can also come into play, highlighting the multifaceted nature of relocation cases and the myriad considerations that must be addressed.

Temporary and Final Relocation Hearings
Furthermore, the attorneys shed light on the timelines associated with temporary and final relocation hearings. They emphasize the challenges in scheduling hearings within the prescribed time frames, a common logistical challenge in relocation cases. Importantly, they further clarify the distinction between temporary and final relocations, emphasizing that a temporary relocation grant does not guarantee final relocation approval. This highlights the iterative nature of the process and the meticulous nature of the court's review throughout.

Legal and Financial Implications
For individuals involved in relocation cases, understanding the legal and financial implications is vital. The attorneys stress that relocation cases are not to be taken lightly, with Nazarena highlighting the necessity of legal representation in these complex matters. They also emphasize the potential impact of child support and alimony obligations on relocation decisions, underscoring the far-reaching consequences of these cases.

Challenges and Recommendations
During the podcast, the attorneys underscore the challenges in relocation cases and emphasize the importance of presenting a well-structured case that clearly addresses the factors considered by the courts. They provide insights into what can set individuals up for success in these cases, such as substantial time-sharing and adherence to court-ordered obligations. Additionally, they highlight the importance of facilitating the relationship between the child and the non-moving parent and caution against relocating before obtaining court permission.

In conclusion, the FMLG Podcast offers valuable insights into the intricate world of relocation cases in family law. It illustrates the importance of understanding the legal, procedural, and practical considerations involved in these cases and serves as a call to action for individuals to seek specialized legal guidance when navigating such complex and high-stakes matters.
Ultimately, the episode serves as an educational resource and a testament to the expertise and dedication of family law attorneys in guiding individuals through the multifaceted and emotionally charged landscape of relocation cases.

About the Author


Leisa Wintz originally began her career as a marriage and family therapist. Ms. Wintz went on to attend law school and started practicing family law in 2009. However, she quickly realized that many family law practices lacked the empathy and compassion she believed were necessary in order to achi...


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