Permission to Temporarily Relocate With Children by Trial Court reversed by Fifth District Court of Appeals
The case of Albanese vs. Albanese, is a relocation case out of the Fifth District Court of Appeals. This case involved a request by the Father to relocate the children from Brevard County Area to the New York City area. The lower court (the trial court) granted the Father’s request and the Mother appealed that decision to the Fifth District Court of Appeals. The Fifth District reversed the decision of the trial court and stated that the “Trial court’s order failed to include a finding that relocation would be in the children’s best interest, but that there was a lack of competent, substantial evidence to support such a finding.”
The parties in this case were involved at the time of the request to relocate by the Father, in a dissolution of marriage action, thus, the request to relocate by the Father was a temporary request at the time of the trial courts decision. He ultimately wanted to permanently relocate, but that was not what the trial court was considering at the time of their decision.
In my opinion of reading this case, the Father was not adequately prepared for the hearing on this request to relocate. The Appeallate Court discussed in their opinion of a few instances of no evidence being provided by the Father as to key areas that were of importance to the decision to allow or not allow the temporary relocation. The following are statements written by the Appeallate Court as to the areas of lack of evidence:
1. “Although Husband opined that he believed relocation would be in the best interest of the children, he provided little or no evidence as to the children’s educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities in Florida.”
2. “No evidence reflecting that the children would receive a better education in East Rutherford, New Jersey than they had, or would receive in Brevard County.”
3. “Husband provided little or no evidence as to the strength of the bond between Wife and the children and the potential emotional effect on the children from the proposed relocation.”
Additionally, the Appeals Court specially noted in their opinion that the custodial evaluation report provided that “Neither parent was capable of demonstrating the disposition to honor a time-sharing schedule, that the environments in both households was “chaotic,” and that both parents lacked veracity in their statements and history.”
Ultimately, the Appeals Court found that based upon the evidence provided, the relocation was in the best interest of the Father, but that there was insufficient evidence to establish that the move was in the best interest of the children.
This case is important in that it explains the significance of being adequately prepared for a hearing requesting relocation and having sufficient evidence to provide in your request. If you can’t show that the relocation is in the best interest of the children, then don’t waste your money and time filing an action. The move has to be in both the requesting relocation parent’s best interest as well as the children’s best interest. To read the entire appeallate opinion click on the link below and click on the case name Albanese vs. Albanese: