final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Escambia County. Keith
A. Carroll, Pensacola, for Appellant.
Jason Martinez, pro se, Appellee.
raises several issues challenging the lower court's order
denying her petition for relocation and granting
Appellee's petition for modification of time-sharing. We
address each of Appellant's arguments.
reject Appellant's argument that the trial court violated
the holding of Perlow v. Berg-Perlow, which states
that while a proposed order "can serve as a starting
point and reminder of the facts and issues that should be
considered . . . such submissions cannot substitute for a
thoughtful and independent analysis . . . by the trial
judge." 875 So.2d 383, 389-90 (Fla. 2004). "But
Berg-Perlow held only that a judge should
announce findings when possible; it did not mandate
that he or she do so[.]" In re: T.D. v.
Department of Children and Family Servs., 924 So.2d 827,
831 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005) (emphasis in original). Here, after
actively participating in the trial, the court stated it
would review the exhibits before reaching a decision, and
neither party objected to the court's request for written
closing arguments and proposed orders. See Empire World
Towers, LLC v. CDR Creances, S.A.S., 89 So.3d 1034, 1046
(Fla. 3d DCA 2012) (holding there was no impropriety where
the trial court adopted one party's proposed order after
submissions from both parties); Beharry v. Drake, 52
So.3d 790, 792 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010) (affirming order adopted
verbatim from one party's proposed final judgment where
both parties submitted proposals, the court did not enter
judgment until six days after receiving the proposals, the
record did not reveal any impropriety, and the findings were
disagree with Appellant's contention that the trial court
reversibly erred in denying her petition for relocation. An
order on a petition for relocation is reviewed for an abuse
of discretion, and the appellate court considers whether
competent, substantial evidence supports the court's
findings under section 61.13001(7), Florida Statutes.
Muller v. Muller, 964 So.2d 732, 733 (Fla. 3d DCA
2007). While there is no presumption in favor of or against
allowing relocation, the party seeking to relocate carries
the burden to prove the move is in the child's best
interest. See § 61.13001(7)-(8), Fla. Stat.
asserts there was evidence that relocation was in the
child's best interest, as the child had always done well
in her care, she had secured stable employment in Alabama
with an increased salary and more job security, and her
proposed relocation plan included more overnight time-sharing
for Appellee than under the final judgment of dissolution.
She further argues the court failed to consider the financial
benefits to be gained by relocation.
court's findings as to the benefits and detriments of the
proposed relocation are supported by competent, substantial
evidence. See Muller, 964 So.2d at 733. This
evidence supports the court's conclusion that relocation
would remove the child from the extended family, and that
relocation would not increase the child's educational
opportunities. Although our view may not be the same as that
of the trial court, we can only review the record for
supporting evidence, and cannot '"engage in
'reweighing the evidence and making the value judgments
that are appropriate for the trial judge.'"
Botterbusch v. Botterbusch, 851 So.2d 903, 904-05
(Fla. 4th DCA 2003) (quoting Flint v. Fortson, 744
So.2d 1217, 1218 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999)). The trial court did
not ignore the evidence presented by Appellant, but found
these benefits were outweighed by the negative impacts on the
child that would result from the relocation.
disagree also with Appellant's argument that the trial
court reversibly erred in its order modifying time-sharing.
Appellate courts review orders modifying time-sharing for an
abuse of discretion, although the discretion afforded to
trial courts in modification is narrower than in initial
time-sharing determinations. Ragle v. Ragle, 82
So.3d 109, 111 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011). A modification order must
be supported by competent, substantial evidence showing there
has been a substantial and material change in circumstances
since the final judgment of dissolution, and that the
modification will be in the best interests of the child.
Lewandowski v. Langston, 969 So.2d 1165, 1169 (Fla.
5th DCA 2007); see also § 61.13(3), Fla. Stat.
asserts that the court's decision to grant modification
was based solely on her relocation and on the parties'
agreement to temporarily expand Appellee's time-sharing
upon his return from deployment, arguing that neither of
these are legally sufficient bases for modification. See,
e.g., Segarra v. Segarra, 947 So.2d 543, 547
(Fla. 3d DCA 2006) ("A desire to relocate alone, as a
matter of law, is not a substantial change in circumstances
sufficient to warrant modification of custody.");
Smoak v. Smoak, 658 So.2d 568, 569 (Fla. 1st DCA
1995) (explaining that using the parties' mutual
agreement to temporarily expand visitation as the basis for
modification would discourage cooperation between parents).
alone is not necessarily sufficient to constitute a
substantial change of circumstances warranting modification
of the time-sharing arrangement. See, e.g.,
Ragle, 82 So.3d at 112; Ogilvie v. Ogilvie,
954 So.2d 698, 701 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007); Segarra, 947
So.2d at 547. However, in Rossman v. Profera, the
Fourth District affirmed an order denying relocation and
granting modification under circumstances similar to those
presented here. 67 So.3d 363 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011). In
Rossman, the court recognized the general
proposition that relocation alone cannot support
modification, but observed:
A vital factor, however, distinguishes the instant case from
the aforementioned cases: the mother had already
relocated, despite a pending relocation request based upon
the prior final judgment's explicit restriction on
relocation, and the mother did not intend to move
back to Florida. The trial court's denial of the
relocation request, which we have already addressed and
affirmed, properly denied the request to relocate with the
minor child. This meant that the minor child would not be
leaving Florida. However, the mother had already moved to
Texas and was not returning. The end result was this: the
minor child, who was not leaving Florida, lived in an
entirely different state from the ...