Mediate This!

How Does Relocation Work Post-Divorce in a Parenting Plan?

May 20, 2022 Matthew Brickman, Sydney Mitchell Season 1 Episode 54
Mediate This!
How Does Relocation Work Post-Divorce in a Parenting Plan?
Show Notes Transcript

Can I move out of state with my children after a divorce is finalized? Can I move with the children temporarily for work, why or why not? Matthew Brickman and Sydney Mitchell answer your most frequently asked questions about divorce as they go over several key points:

  • Assume nothing.
  • Know who you are before you get married. 
  • Know who you're getting married to. 
  • Know the laws and statutes in the state you live in.
  • Don't take advice from anyone who isn't a legal professional in the state in which you're getting married and living in.

If you have a matter, disagreement, or dispute you need professional help with then visit iMediate.com - Email mbrickman@ichatmediation or Call (877) 822-1479

Matthew Brickman is a Florida Supreme Court certified family and appellate mediator who has worked in the 15th and 19th Judicial Circuit Courts since 2009 and 2006 respectively. But what makes him qualified to speak on the subject of conflict resolution is his own personal experience with divorce.

Download Matthew's book on iTunes for FREE:
You're Not the Only One - The Agony of Divorce: The Joy of Peaceful Resolution

Matthew Brickman
President iMediate Inc.
Mediator 20836CFA
iMediateInc.com

Sydney Mitchell:

Hi. My name is Sydney Mitchell.

Matthew Brickman:

Hi, I'm Matthew Brickman, Florida Supreme court mediator. Welcome to the Mediate This! Podcast where we discuss everything mediation and conflict resolution.

Sydney Mitchell:

So Matthew and I have been receiving a ton of questions from, from our listeners. And today we're gonna tackle , uh , two different questions, but they, they kind of pair it together. And the question that we received says, can I move out of state with my children after a divorce is finalized? And then the , the other question Matthew, I wanna kind of tackle is can I temporarily move to another state for work? If not, why? And if so, what do I have to do? So during a divorce, after a divorce, a parent wants to move, how do you even start to consider that option?

Matthew Brickman:

Okay. So this is actually pretty simple. So whether or not it is a divorce or a paternity action, the rules are both the same. So we're gonna open up and look at a parenting plan, cuz they're gonna have a parenting plan. Like if kids are involved, right, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, there's a relocation statute. It says any relocation of the child is subject to and must be sought compliance with section 6 1 1 3 0 0 1 of Florida statutes. Now, as we say, in all of our podcasts, it's important to know the laws of your state. Um, so if you're not in the state of Florida, it will not be chapter 61 13 0 1 , but find out what the relocation statute is in your state. Mm-hmm <affirmative> . Um , and so in Florida, if a , um, so if a parent wants to move, a parent can move. The court does not have the jurisdiction over a parent. The court has the jurisdiction over the child. So with this first question, can I move out of state with my children after divorce is finalized? The answer is possibly so why possibly, well, it depends. It depends if you have the permission and consent of the other parent mm-hmm <affirmative> and if not, do you have the permission of the court? I will tell you Sidney , it is easier to get the permission of the other parent than it is to get the permission of the court.

Sydney Mitchell:

That's interesting. Cause I would imagine , um , so one thought I just wanted to give, I mean, I would assume that somebody in this situation , um, well I guess I don't know is the divorce has, it just occurred and there hasn't been like a full parenting plan or , or time sharing agreement negotiated already. Like let's say they had a , you know, a , a , a , one of the more average kind of week to week , time sharing agreements , um, and then wanting to move. Do they have to go back and make a modification or maybe is this situation where the divorce is just finished and they, they knew that, that they were gonna be moving, I guess just kind of talk through like, depending on where the divorce is at, in the process, how parties might go about creating their time sharing , um, agreement.

Matthew Brickman:

Okay. So good, good question. I

Sydney Mitchell:

Don't, I don't even know quite what I'm asking

Matthew Brickman:

<laugh> yeah , no . Yeah . All , I think what you're asking is how do you define, you know, like where's the cutoff or I can, or I cannot relocate. Like we know that if there's a parenting plan, now I'm subject to it. Right,

Sydney Mitchell:

Right . And if you need to go change

Matthew Brickman:

That , but how do I know whether or whether or not I can and the que , and so the answer is it depends. So we're gonna start with paternity action. Okay. If this listener , um, this listener is talking about after a divorce, right? Mm-hmm

Sydney Mitchell:

<affirmative>

Matthew Brickman:

So if it I'm just gonna talk real quick, if it's a paternity action, if they are looking to move prior to filing, then fine. If they're looking to move after filing now they're subject to 61, chapter 61. Okay. This particular question is, can I move outta state with my children after divorce? If it's after a divorce, there's a parenting plan in place. Then there's subject to chapter 61 .

Sydney Mitchell:

Okay . That's what I'm asking. So it depends on whether it's been formally filed or not. Correct ? That's that's what I was getting.

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah . Now, if somebody has relocated prior to filing a paternity action, the mother general , the mother can, because there is a legal assumption that the , that the mother is the mother of the child, cuz she gave birth to the child. Men just to be clear, men cannot give birth to children. I'm gonna be very, very clear here. I don't care what our government says. I don't care what anybody says. A man cannot give birth to a child. So there's a legal presumption that mom is mom, cuz she gave birth to the child. There is no legal presumption of the father until the father has been adjudicated legally as the father, just because he's on the birth certificate doesn't necessarily mean that he has any rights or entitlements to the child. Um , so prior to a paternity action being filed, mom can go anywhere. She wants once it's been filed. And a lot of times mom will file for child support purposes and all of a sudden, now she can't go, oops , okay . Now if it's a divorce, let's say for example, mom, you know, and , and I've had this dad goes to work, comes home, mom and the kid are gone, they're gone and they're still gone and they're gone the next day and the next day. And he files a missing persons report and he's still looking for him and a week goes by and he finds out mom and the kid are in, are in Dallas, Texas. And, and he's like, what? In the world? And then she files for divorce and says fine. You don't get to see the kid. No guess what? That kid came back to Florida. You're married. You do not have more rights or entitlements to the child than the other parent. So , and

Sydney Mitchell:

I'm just the poor child. Like

Matthew Brickman:

I know, I know

Sydney Mitchell:

You watching children

Matthew Brickman:

Become yeah . In Sydney , in Sydney , the whole thing was mom met some guy on the internet gaming and decided, oh, I'm gonna go to Texas. We're gonna be a happy family and takes the kid there. Ugh . Like no . Nope . So

Sydney Mitchell:

Don't even ask me my

Matthew Brickman:

Thoughts on that. Sydney . Nothing. The us Marshall service couldn't take care of. Well sure. Um , unfortunately, you know , kid being put on plane with Marshall and brought back to Florida, I mean just bad. Right? So in any case, can I move outta state with my children after the divorce is finalized? If the , if, if the other parent says, yes, okay fine. Now what do you have to do? Well, you're gonna have to file a modification because if you've already been divorced, you have a parenting plan. The other parent says fine, you're gonna have to have a modification because that's gonna modify the child support and the time sharing . So let's say for example, mom and dad both live , um , in Palm beach county. Okay. And then mom gets a really great job and she's like, I wanna move to Colorado and I wanna take the kids , uh , not, unless dad says so. And if dad says so fine, children go to Colorado with mom and now dad has a long distance parenting plan. We need to run child supporting, create a new parenting plan because maybe they had 50, 50 pro with both of them in Palm beach county. And now it's gonna be 80 20. Like that's gonna throw everything off right now. If Dan says, no, you're not going well, then fine . Now it's subject to the court. And that means you go to chapter 61, 1, 3 0 1 and look and see what the chapter and see what the statute says. Um, like I said, it's easier for a parent to convince the other parent than the court because there's a whole list of factors in the statute that you have to hit in order to get a yes from the court. And from my understanding, this is my understanding as a mediator, what I've been told by attorneys going in and arguing this all day long, it is an all or nothing. You're hitting every factor or it's a, no, this is not well , you hit fit . You , you hit half of them . No, it's all or nothing because this, this will have a major impact to the entire relationship between the child and the other parent. Right. And so it is, that's why I say it's easier to convince the other parent there might be something member , bus rider , bus driver. Mm-hmm <affirmative> remember way back when we talked bus rider , there may be something you can convince the bus driver to take in exchange for taking the children . Right. Right. But if the bus driver says, no good luck asking somebody, right . Like the court, because the court then has to go through all the factors. One, I I'll tell you two different stories. One story I had, I had where the mother was a nurse and there was a particular machine at this hospital that she was the tech on a job. Opening came, came up. They , they , they , well, okay. So they were actually getting rid of this particular machine at this particular hospital, which meant she had no job. And she's a nurse. What do you mean? You don't have a job? Well, her training was on as this tech for this particular machine , there were only four machines in the entire United States .

Sydney Mitchell:

Oh my

Matthew Brickman:

Gosh . Well guess what? She was granted a relocation. Like, I mean, she hit all the factors and one of the factors is you have to show that there's not a job anywhere else in the entire state of Florida that you could have in your area of expertise for, you know, like there's nowhere else. Now, a lot of times it's I think one of the factors is like, you know, it's gonna be a better life. There's a family support unit. You're gonna , you know, blah, blah, blah . Well guess what? This particular factor was huge because right . She like sh there were only four machines. Judge grand , that one. Now I had another one. Mother's like, I need to go back to Tennessee. My parents live there. I have a support unit. You know, I've got a job waiting for me there. Like, you know, this is gonna be the best place for the child . What do you doer ? I'm a bartender. Really? So there's not another bar in the entire state of Florida that you could get a job at. Right? Like, well , hers was, and , and she didn't, she didn't agree in mediation. She went to court and judge denied it . Like, no , no , you now say you can go, but the children stay. So that takes me into then our second que second part of this question, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> can I, can I, now , now the question was, can I temporarily move to another state for work? If not, why? And if so, what do I have to do? My

Sydney Mitchell:

Question would be first defined temporarily.

Matthew Brickman:

So I don't really care.

Sydney Mitchell:

Hmm .

Matthew Brickman:

I , I don't care because look, if you are moving now for a , for a month or you're moving for a year, we're still changing the time check .

Sydney Mitchell:

Right? Right. Yeah .

Matthew Brickman:

And if you're going away for a month, you're not looking to that . That that's not a relocation. That's just, okay . You know what? I'm not gonna be around for the month. My ex is gonna have the kids and then I'll be back in fine. That's not temporary. So what , what , what I have done. And I'm just gonna talk from personal experience. What I've done in mediations. When I have a question like this, cuz this is not a new question for me. Can I temporarily move? I don't ask the question. Okay. How long the question I ask is are you planning on coming back? Mm . And I don't care when you're coming back. Are you planning ? So cause sometimes like, well it's temporary, temporary, temporary, temporary. Temporary is I'm I'm I'm going. And I'm staying. No, usually if they're saying temporary, especially if, if , if , if they say, look, we already are divorced or it's paternity action. We already have a parenting plan and I need to temporarily relocate. They already know what temporary is . And so when I ask them, are you planning on coming back? If there are like wink, wink, nod. Yes. Not really. Well then it's not a temporary relocation and fine. What I will do in the parenting plan is I'll put, the mother is temporarily relocating to the state of Colorado, California, New York , wherever they're going so long as the mother is in it's there. This is best state . Here's the new parenting plan. Mm-hmm <affirmative> great. Not a problem. So, so it says, can I, if not, why? No. The question, the answer is yes you can. So what do you have to do? You have to file a modification. I mean, you actually have to go through the steps of filing the modification of the parenting plan modification of the child support submit new financial affidavits. You need to fill out the , the actual required documents. Then you have to come back to mediation. You have to create a new parenting plan. Mm-hmm <affirmative> . So I had one recently SI Sydney where the mother was wanting to relocate air quotes temporarily. Now I don't, I don't know. And I don't care how long temporary is, but I asked her, are you planning on coming back? Yes. Now the child I think is seven. So you've got 11 years that yes, I plan on coming back. Okay , great. Now right now, Sidney , they have 50, 50 time sharing . Mom and dad have 50, 50 time sharing with the child. They have shared parental responsibility, 50, 50 mm-hmm <affirmative> she's not looking to take the child. So this isn't like our first question. Can I take the children with me? No , she knows that she's not taking the child she's relocating for work. So she had to file for a modification of child support and time sharing . She had to come back to mediation. And what we did was we created a , if this, then that, and if not, then this scenario, right? So I took her entire parenting plan. The, the, and , and I took that, that section , um , of time sharing . And I simply put a sentence that said, if at any time, before the emancipation of the minor child, the mother should return to the state of Florida and live within 50 miles of the child's residence, which is the statute, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> then the parties will return to their previous ordered time sharing schedule, outlined below, copy and paste done. Now we have to go to a sentence that says at the time of executing this agreement, it is the intent of the mother to temporarily relocate to the state of, for work so long as the mother is not living in this state of Florida. Because I don't wanna just say like, she's going to Colorado. What if her job then moves her to Arizona? I like , I'm not getting caught up in that. We're gonna keep this general, but so long as the mother is not living in the state of Florida, then this will be the time sharing schedule. And we created a long distance out of state schedule. Well, guess what that did then now. And oh , and then we had to run child support accordingly. Now these parties previously, when we did their original mediation, they were not paying child support through the courts. They were just doing electronic Z or PayPal back and forth to each other Venmo. Right? So fine. We're keeping all the child support outta the court. So what we did was we did they're brand new and we called it modified parenting plan, modified mediation agreement. So the modified mediation agreement said so long as the mother is living in a , in a different state with the long distance time sharing outlined in the parenting plan. Child support will be blank that the mother owes the father mm-hmm <affirmative> . Then we had another paragraph so long is the mother and the father residing in , you know, within 50 miles of each other and adhering to the 50, 50 times sharing that they have the father owes the mother. Great. Then we go to the parenting plan, modified parenting plan. They still have shared parental responsibility, still have the same communication, but with the education now it's, dad's address simple change, one word, mother to father, right? And then we did that two different parenting or time sharing one, if it's a long distance one, if she relocates back then we changed the , um , uh , the, the place of exchange. If the , if they're exercising long distance place of exchange is at the airport. And then we built in the rules there. If they're living in the same state in less than 50 miles, then exchange is and are just copied and pasted what they had previous . Then in that, you know, you know , going back to the , the parenting plan, we just looked at in that relocation statute, we put by executing this modified parenting plan, the father consents to the mother's request to relocate out of the state of Florida, but leaving the child with him without the need to petition the court, both parties are subject to and kept the same language, chapter 61, Florida statute, whatever, when it comes to relocating with the child done. Now, what that did is now guess what? They don't need to file anything. She can go. We have time sharing , long distance and child support, long distance set up . And if she comes back, cuz she says, it's temporary. If she comes back, then they don't have to come back and modify. They don't have to go to court. They don't have to , they can , they don't even have to come back to me. They simply have to then move back to where they were. I don't want people to be caught up in the system. I do not want people to be caught up needing me like, right . I always tell people as wonderful as you may be. I hope to never see you in this situation. Again, I wanna set people up with the tools to go out and be able to live life and live it peacefully. That is in the best interest of the children. Having to spend money on me only takes money away from them taking care of their kids. Yeah . And so I was able to set them up so that she could move temporarily to another state for work. And then here's what you gotta do. And it was really simple. Now I just need to preface this with, I guess not preface, we're just gonna follow it up with, I had set up the , the , the child support for, you know, what it is out of state , what it is in state , right? Like mm-hmm <affirmative> this does not bar either of them a violent , a modification later. Let's say, for example, hypothetically mother moves out of state comes back. Let's say three years from now, right? Let's say that she's making a lot of money. Like she she's making a lot . There's nothing that says that the father cannot file a modification because maybe under this agreement right now, we're basing it on what both of them are making. And so yes, he does owe her some , even though it's 50, 50, but if she comes back and she's making a whole lot more money or he's making, I think this swings both ways, maybe he's got a raise and she's making the same . They can modify the child support, but they don't have to have the expensive fight of time sharing . We've already figured out time sharing . Right. And so to modify child support, that's really inexpensive, very easy to do. Um, and so, you know, granted, they still have to file for modification of child support, do new financial affidavits , um, come to mediation, but you're not having the big fight of time sharing . No, I'm not giving no, you can't, we're not having that conversation. Right. Right . So hopefully for that particular listener, with their question of , can I move outta state with my children after divorce? Or can I temporarily move for work? And if not, why not? If so, what do I need to do? Hopefully that answers your question. If you have a comment or question regarding anything that we discuss, email us at info@ichatmediation.com that's info@ichatmediation.com and stay tuned to hear your shout out and have your question answered here on the show.

Sydney Mitchell:

If you have a comment or question regarding anything that we discuss, email us@infoichatmediation.com that's info iChat I C H a mediation.com and stay tuned to hear your shout out and have your question answered here on the show

Matthew Brickman:

For more information about my services or to schedule your mediation with me either in person or using my I chat mediation virtual platform built by Cisco communications. Visit me online at IED eight , inc.com. Call me at (561) 262-9121 toll free at 8 7 7 8 2 2 14 79 . Or email me M Brickman iChat mediation.com .