Can I Relocate with My Child After Divorce?
Like other states in the country, Florida prohibits parents who share custody from relocating with their children without the consent of the other parent. Unfortunately, despite the existence of these laws, many parents attempt to move with their child without notifying the other, whether out of necessity or spite, so if your former partner is attempting to take your child out of the state, or you have primary custody and must relocate for employment or health purposes, it is important to speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale child relocation attorney who can help protect your parental rights, as well as your child’s best interests.
What Constitutes a Long-Distance Move?
Florida law bars parents from making long distance moves with their children without first obtaining the consent of the other parent, or from relocating out of a desire to alienate that child from a former partner. Although the law specifically refers to long distance moves, it also defines long distance as 50 or more miles from a current residence. It is also possible to relocate on a temporary basis, or less than 60 days, but only for the purpose of seeking medical care for the child, family vacations, or educational trips.
Seeking Approval to Relocate
There are two ways that a parent can obtain permissions to relocate with a child: agreement with the other parent or a court order. If the parents reach a mutual decision in which both parties agree to the move, they will need to sign a new written agreement that:
- Reflects both parties’ consent to the relocation;
- Details a new time sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent; and
- Describes any transportation-related time sharing issues.
At this point, the parties will need to seek ratification of the agreement by the court, although no evidentiary hiring will be necessary, unless one of the parties specifically asks for it. If a hearing is not requested, the court will presume that relocation is in the child’s best interests and the agreement will become legally binding.
In the event that the parents are unable to reach an agreement, they will need to go to court and file an official request with a judge. Prior to taking this step, however, the parent planning to move will need to provide the other with detailed plans and give him or her a chance to object. Any relocation requests will need to include specific information, including a detailed statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation, (attaching a job offer if the move is being attributed to an employment change), as well as a proposal for a post-relocation schedule and arrangements for transportation. Only when these requirements have been met will a court assess whether relocation is in a child’s best interests.
Call Today for Help with Your Case
If you are attempting to relocate with your child or your former partner has filed a relocation petition with the court, please call experienced child relocation lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 to learn more about your parental rights.