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Appeals Court Denies Relocation Of Father With Child


Those who want to relocate with a child are required to petition the court for permission first if a parenting plan is already in place. The standard of whether or not the court will grant the petition relies entirely on the best interests of the child. If the relocation is in the best interests of the child, the court will grant it. If it isn’t, then the court will deny it. In authorizing a party to relocate with a child, the court must conduct a review to determine if the relocation is in the child’s best interests. In the case we are about to review, the appeals court overturned a decision by the trial court to grant the relocation of a parent with his child. The mother appealed the decision and successfully petitioned the court to block the relocation.

Background of the case 

In the case of Mignott v. Mignott, the couple was married in 2010 and had one child during the marriage. In 2016, the mother filed a petition for divorce. The mother and father initially shared parental responsibility. However, the father was given custody of the child after the mother was arrested for aggravated assault in May 2017. In 2019, the father filed a petition to permit his relocation with the minor child pursuant to section 61.13001, Florida Statutes. The mother objected. The mother presented arguments to the court as to why the relocation should not happen. Ultimately, the trial court granted the father’s petition to relocate on the basis that the father had tickets to fly out to Missouri in the morning and the court wanted to make it convenient for him. The trial court made no other oral or statutory findings. The mother appealed.

The appeals court reviewed the matter for abuse of discretion. The mother argued that the trial court committed reversable error by granting the relocation of the minor child without evaluating any of the statutory factors outlined in section 61.13001(7), Florida statutes. The appeals court agreed with the mother.

Under Florida law, when a petition for relocation is contested, the court will evaluate all of the statutory factors when making its determination that the relocation is in the best interests of the child. In the case mentioned above, the court made no statutory findings and did not consider the best interests of the child, but rather the father, convenience, and his plane ticket for Missouri. Ultimately, the petition for relocation was denied and the father was forced to return to Florida with the child.

Talk to an Orlando Family Law Attorney Concerning a Relocation Petition 

You cannot simply take off with a child if you get a new job elsewhere. Those who do could be charged with kidnapping. Instead, you must petition the court to determine whether or not the relocation is permissible. This is true in any case where you travel more than 50 miles from your current residence. If you are contemplating a relocation with your child, the Orlando family lawyers at Greater Orlando Family Law can help you file a petition with the court and prove that the move is in the child’s best interests. Call today to learn more.


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