To Move or Not to Move: Relocating with Your Child in Florida
After your divorce, you may be required to revisit certain issues such as child custody or visitation (known as “timesharing” in Florida), child support, alimony and relocation. Prior to deviating away from any type of court order, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney — failure to abide by a court order can have serious consequences.
If you are divorced and you are the custodial parent, your life circumstances may change and you may wish to move out of the city or state. Following is some important information you need to be aware of before you attempt to relocate with your child:
- Distance and duration of the move: Have you recently received a job offer or other opportunity requiring you to move with your child? If the move is more than 50 miles away and lasts longer than 60 days, you are required to notify your child’s other parent.
- If the non-custodial parent agrees: If he or she agrees with the move, both of you must sign and submit a written agreement to the court.
- If the non-custodial parent disagrees: If he or she disagrees with the move, you must file a petition for relocation with the court. Among the items that must be pled include the physical location, mailing address and phone number of the proposed residence, the date of the move, the reason for the move, and your proposal for restructured timesharing and other parental responsibilities.
- Court-hearing: If your ex responds to the petition, a hearing is held before a judge. It is important to remember that the judge focuses on whether the move is in the child’s best interest — not yours. Should your ex fail to respond, the court generally assumes the move is in the child’s best interests.
An experienced lawyer can provide you with straightforward and comprehensive guidance to help avoid post-divorce strife.