This is the next post in my series on the handling of Melbourne, Florida child custody cases involving unmarried parents who wish to move the child out of state. My last article discussed the consequences of moving a child out of state without a custody order. Under such circumstances, it is possible that the moving parent may be required to return to the state. They may even find themselves losing custody of the child. To fully understand your situation, it is strongly suggested that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. In this article I will discuss the relocation of a child when a custody order is already in place. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Once child custody has been established in the state of Florida, a parent may not move the child out of state without written consent from the other parent or an order from the Court which permits the move. If a parent moves a child out of state, in violation of these legal requirements, then there may be several consequences. First, the parent who remains behind can file an emergency Motion to have the child returned. The Court will likely hold an immediate hearing and may find the offending parent to be in Contempt of the Order. The penalties for Contempt can include fines, having to pay the other side’s legal fees, and even incarceration. Also, depending on the circumstances, the Court may award custody to the other parent. While how the Court will rule in any given case is always going to depend on the specifics of the situation, these potential consequences are examples of why a parent should obtain written permission, or a Court Order, before moving a child out of Florida.
If you are an unmarried parent, with a custody Order, then the first step in relocating out of state is to file a Supplemental Petition with the Court. The Judge will hold a hearing and may allow the move to happen immediately with a trial being scheduled to determine if the relocation should be permanent. The Court may also not allow the move for the time-being, but still order that a trial be held on the topic. Following this formal legal process allows a parent to seek a move without the risk of being forced to abruptly return to the state. Relocation matters can involve complicated legal and factual issues. Such matters are also likely to be highly contested. It is strongly suggested that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you.
If you are an unmarried parent who needs to move out of state then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne child relocation lawyer. I am experienced in handling such matters and will be in regular contact with you as your case moves through the system. My office understands that you are facing a serious situation and we will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us today. We also service clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.