COVID 19 Relocating for The Best Interest of Your Children

Many unmarried parents in Tampa Bay have faced unprecedented challenges and financial uncertainty due to COVID19. For those who have been met with uncertainty about their jobs and careers, the solution for some has been to relocate for job opportunities or familial support. For unmarried parents who have established paternity and a timesharing order, it can become complicated if one parent relocates without the permission of the courts. This is true especially when the relocation is contested by the other parent or when legal paternity has not been established yet the child has developed a meaningful relationship with the biological father.

Relocating with a minor child in Florida is permissible without permission only if it is within 50 miles of their principal residence for more than 60 consecutive days without the permission of the court. It is also permissible when legal paternity has not been established. (See below) If you share physical custody of your children and wish to relocate or if you have been served with a petition for relocation with a minor child it will be in your best interest to speak with a Tampa relocation attorney.

Filing a Petition to Relocate with Minor Child Because of COVID19

Relocation with a minor child Tampa BayEven though there has been widespread unemployment in Tampa Bay with many parents facing hardships, the party who wishes to relocate must still prove it is in the best interest of the child. The courts will use the preponderance of evidence standard. This means that the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not the amount of evidence will be favorable for one side or the other. Presenting the proper evidence to the judge is crucial in any child relocation case. Hiring an experienced child relocation attorney in Tampa Bay is highly recommended to ensure that your parental rights and the best interest of your children remain at the forefront.

What to Expect in a Child Relocation Case

The Court will inquire as to how relocation will affect the child and the parents’ lives and the reasons for relocation. A judge can engage in an in depth analysis of the best interest of the child which can take a considerable amount of time, especially when the other parent contests the relocation. Mediation and negotiating can be extremely effective in some contested relocation cases, but many relocation cases do end up in trial. When this occurs, you want the best Tampa child custody attorney for you.

Contesting a Petition for Relocation with a Minor Child

If you’ve been served with a petition for relocation with a minor child it is important to act promptly. Don’t assume that a  petition will be granted due to COVID19. Read more about relocating with a minor child here or contact us below for a consultation.

Is Temporary Relocation with a Minor Child Possible?

Temporary relocation can be ordered if the court finds that the petition to relocate was properly filed and is otherwise in compliance with subsection (3) and after an examination of the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing that there is a likelihood that on final hearing the court will approve the relocation of the child, which findings must be supported by the same factual basis as would be necessary to support approving the relocation in a final judgment.

If the court has issued a temporary order authorizing a party seeking to relocate or move a child before a final judgment is rendered, the court may not give any weight to the temporary relocation as a factor in reaching its final decision.
(d) If temporary relocation of a child is approved, the court may require the person relocating the child to provide reasonable security, financial or otherwise, and guarantee that the court-ordered contact with the child will not be interrupted or interfered with by the relocating party.

See: Florida Statutes 61 (3) Best Interest of the Child
Read: Establishing Legal Paternity in Florida

Message us Below or Call 813-879-4600

Tampa family law attorneysNilo J Sanchez & Associates is a Tampa Child Custody and Family Lawyer with over two decades of experience practicing Family Law in Florida. Our law firm represents parents who need an experienced family law attorney in Hillsborough, Pasco & Pinellas County, FL.

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