In many cases, one parent may consider relocating the children after the divorce. But is it legal? Does Florida law support the custodial parent moving a child out of state?
If the child moves to another state with a parent, it is most likely to affect the visitation schedule with another parent.
In Florida, a judge can allow the custodial parent to move if it is for a legitimate reason, such as a job opportunity. At the same time, the judge will factor in the non-relocating parent’s right to have significant contact with the child.
How Far Can a Parent Move With Joint Custody?
The Florida child custody law states that if a parent is moving 50 miles or more from the current location of residence, for at least 60 days, it will be considered as a “relocation.” However, if a parent has to move temporarily for the purposes of vacation or providing medical care or education to the child, it is not considered a relocation.
If moving the kids after divorce becomes necessary, then the parents may reach an understanding by signing a written agreement that spells out the new custody arrangement.
This agreement must include the approval of the noncustodial parent regarding the move, a record of transportation secured by the parents for visitation, and any other necessary changes to the visitation schedule.
If there is any other extended family member with visitation rights (such as the grandparents), they will also have to agree to the custodial parent moving with children.
What If There Is a Disagreement?
If the parents are not in agreement about the relocation, then the moving parent will need to file a petition with the court to be allowed to move. The petition must include why the custodial parent needs to move. It should also inform the non-custodial parent how they can file an objection to the petition.
If the non-custodial parent doesn’t respond to this petition within the given time frame, the court will likely allow the move – as long as it is deemed in the child’s best interests.
If the non-custodial parent succeeds in responding, then the court will issue a date for a hearing or a trial.
It should be noted that the judge will always base their final decision on the best interests of the children. In addition, they will also factor in how the move will affect a child’s physical, mental, emotional health, and overall development. The reason(s) for the relocation request and objections of non-custodial parent will also be evaluated thoroughly.
Your Best Chance of Winning Your Case: A Family Law Attorney
Having an experienced and dedicated family lawyer to represent your side of the dispute is absolutely vital in these cases. If you are the non-moving or non-custodial parent moving, you could be up against a hearing or trial.
If you think that relocating your child with the other parent may affect their life in a negative way, or if you are a parent seeking to relocate alongside your children, consider getting in touch with an expert. Attorney Patrick L. Cordero and his team of over 50 highly skilled attorneys and legal experts have successfully represented thousands of clients with family disputes for 25 years.