Relocating Internationally with the Child

Because of the diverse population of Florida, we often encounter cases where one parent wants to relocate to another country with the child. We have represented parents wanting to relocate, and we have represented parents who wish to prevent the other parent from relocating. If you are interested in relocating, or you don’t want to see your child leave the country, read on to learn how you can achieve your objectives with the help of a skilled family law attorney.

Florida Law

Section 16.13001 of the Florida Statutes provides that a parent may ask the court for permission to move with the child to a new location that is at least 50 miles from the current place of residence. Typically, these types of petitions involve a parent wanting to move to another state or another country with the child.

A petition for relocation must include information such as the proposed new address, the reasons for the requested relocation, and proposals regarding visitation, time sharing, and transportation after the relocation occurs.

The petition must be served on the other party/parent and anyone else who has legal access to the child and has visitation (such as grandparents or aunts and uncles).

Factors for the Court

In any family law decision to be rendered by the court, the court will always consider what is in the best interests of the child.

In determining whether to grant a petition to relocate internationally, the court will look at three factors: culture, jurisdiction, and distance.

Culture

In making a decision, the court will look at the culture and political climate of the country, whether the petitioner and child have any family members in the country, and whether the child would be safe and have the same opportunities in the country. For instance, if the petitioner is seeking to move to a country currently involved in a civil war or uprising, such as Ukraine or Iraq, the court may lean toward denying the petition. The court will also consider the cultural norms of the country and whether the child has been previously exposed to the cultural norms of the country.

Jurisdiction

The court will need to determine whether any orders made by it in the case can be enforced in the country’s legal system, and whether, in the case the relocating parent disobeys any orders, the parent can be brought back to the American court for further proceedings.

Distance

As in domestic relocation cases, the court will consider the expense and time required by the noncustodial parent in maintaining visitation with the child in the new country. If the distance is prohibitive, the court may lean toward denying the petition.

Speak with a Family Law Attorney Now

If you want to ask the court to relocate with your child, or particularly if the other party has asked to relocate and you want to prevent the relocation, you should immediately contact an experienced Tampa family law attorney such as Bubley & Bubley, P.A. Because relocation cases are highly dependent on the particular facts of the case, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible for help.

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