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Moving out of state after a divorce may sometimes be a necessity due to a compelling opportunity. If you are in this situation, you should know the rules for moving out of Florida when involving a child. Florida family court will balance the custodial parent’s right to relocation after divorce for a legitimate reason with the non-moving parent’s right to remain in meaningful contact with the child. This article will examine this situation and offer the legal rights of a parent to relocate after a child custody agreement.

What Constitutes an Out-of-State Move After a Divorce?

In terms of child relocation, Florida law considers a move of at least 50 miles from the parent’s current residence over 60 days as a relocation. Any temporary move for a child’s education, medical care, or vacation is still a relocation under the law. Both parties in Florida may sign a written agreement if they mutually agree to the idea of child relocation. This agreement should specify the terms of the relocation and the new time-sharing arrangements.

When To File a Petition To Relocate?

If both parties are not in agreement over the post-divorce child relocation, the parent who is considering moving out of state after a divorce will have to file a Petition to Relocate in the Florida court and serve it on the co-parent. The non-moving parent must respond within 20 days after receiving this petition. If no response is forthcoming within this time limit, the court may permit relocation even without a hearing.

What Happens if You Relocate Without Court Sanction?

relocation after divorceIt is important to note that child relocation after divorce without obtaining court approval can result in contempt of court charges against the moving parent. A parent may question whether the Florida family court has the power to control their ability to move with their child. Some appeals from parties in the past claimed this requirement of permission to relocate is a violation of their fundamental right to travel.

However, Florida courts have consistently denied this appeal. According to the law, the primary parent’s movements are not under restriction. Instead, the law protects the co-parent’s time-sharing rights, as well as the child’s best interests.

Factors That the Court Will Consider

Florida courts will look at various factors while determining whether the planned relocation is in the best interests of the child. These include:

  • Relationship of the child with both the parents 
  • The age of the child
  • The current needs of the child
  • The impact of the move on the child’s development
  • The effects of a move on the relationship between the child and non-moving parent 
  • Logistics and costs involved in visitation 
  • Child’s personal preference 
  • Benefits of relocation for the child and parent 
  • The parents’ arguments for and against relocation 
  • Any financial necessity for relocation
  • Other factors affecting the best interests of the child

The burden to show that relocation is the child’s best interest falls upon the parent advocating for relocation.

Speak to a Top-Rated Florida Divorce Attorney Today!

Are you or a former spouse considering relocating a child after divorce proceedings? Enlist the services of an experienced and professional attorney to protect your parental rights in this situation. The Law Offices of Patrick L. Cordero will give your case the attention it deserves by scrutinizing the factors, determining the best course of action, and fighting for your rights. Patrick Cordero personally involves himself in every case to ensure you get the best possible outcome. Call us today at 305-445-4855 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.