This is the next post in my series on the handling of child relocation in Melbourne, Florida. My last article discussed conducting discovery in child relocation cases. It is important to understand that any move away request must be supported by evidence which shows that the move will be in the best interests of the child or children. Such evidence is accumulated through the discovery process. This is why it is important that you retain a family law attorney who is familiar with the process of conducting discovery. In this article I will discuss what to expect at trial in a move away case. If you need assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
I previously discussed attending trial in a change of custody case. Many of those same concepts apply to matters where a child is moving away from Florida. A Judge will hear the evidence and decide the matter as there are no juries in Family Court. The case will begin with opening statements from each side. The party requesting the move will present their case. The party opposing the move will then present their witnesses and evidence. The requesting party can then present “rebuttal” evidence. Rebuttal is not a time to raise new issues. It can only be used to counter claims made by the defense. Once all evidence and testimony have been presented the Judge will take the matter under submission. A decision may be issued the same day but may also be issued within several days of the trial.
Witnesses and testimony will be focused on whether or not the move is in the child’s best interests. The parent requesting permission to move will be expected to present evidence demonstrating job opportunities (or how they will otherwise support themselves) in the new location, evidence regarding the child’s educational prospects, evidence regarding proposed housing, etc. The party opposing the move will be expected to present evidence demonstrating that it is in the child’s interests to remain in the state of Florida. If either parent is unhappy with the Court’s final decision then they will have the option of filing a family law appeal.
Trial can be a complicated process. Court procedures and the rules of evidence will both be strictly enforced. It is important to hire an experienced trial lawyer to assist you. I am a former prosecutor and devote my practice to the handling of family law matters. Contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne child relocation lawyer. 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.