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International Relocation After Divorce

In the current climate of economic instability, it is not uncommon for Florida residents to seek more favorable employment opportunities out of state. Divorced parents of minor children sometimes need to relocate to a new job, a healthier economy or to enjoy the support of extended family. Relocation after divorce is not a simple matter, especially if the parent wishes to relocate with minor children more than 50 miles from the current residence. In the case of relocating out of the country, the law is even more stringent. 

If you are planning to relocate with children, you need to acquire permission to do so from your former spouse. In the absence of this permission, you have the option to turn to the court for a decision on the matter. 

Petition for international relocation 

Florida law takes a fairly neutral position on the relocation of parents who have minor children. While some states favor relocation and others weigh heavily against it, Florida takes every request on a case-by-case consideration. This can make the process of petitioning lengthy and costly, but this stance maintains openness to every individual case. 

If you petition to relocate with your children across international borders, the court considers the following: 

  • Whether the child’s quality of life might be greatly improved by the relocation
  • The presence of extended family and other support systems
  • Economic opportunity
  • The child’s comfort with the language, culture, religion or ethnic group of the region of relocation
  • Visitation or time-sharing opportunities with the second parent 

Ultimately, the court grants a petition for relocation if the parent can prove that the move is in the best interest of the child. 

Prevent parental kidnapping 

The Hague Convention — the treaty that prevents the kidnapping of children by their parents across international lines — requires that both parents sign a passport application. The convention provides for the prompt return of children to their country of residence to prevent relocation or retention of children without the permission of both parents. If you have not yet received permission from your ex or by court order, do not attempt to take your child abroad for an extended period of time. 

A skilled family law attorney can help you petition for relocation. The attorneys at the office of Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. are available to serve the Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale areas.

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