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Can My Former Spouse Relocate with My Child After Divorce?


Under Florida law, parents are only allowed to relocate with their children following a divorce in certain circumstances. Parents who fail to abide by these laws can be held in contempt of court, so if you are considering relocating and have questions about the effect that such a move could have on your parenting plan, or your former spouse is attempting to relocate with your child without your permission, it is critical to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale child relocation attorney who can ensure that your child’s best interests and your own parental rights are protected.

Defining Relocation  

According to Florida law, a move only qualifies as a relocation if the new residence is at least 50 miles away from the residence where that parent lived when the last order on time sharing was issued to be considered a relocation. Moving outside of this 50 mile boundary requires the filing of a relocation petition, or an agreement between the moving spouse and the other parent in which that individual consents to relocation.

Parental Consent  

Couples who are able to come to an agreement on a relocation will still need to file a new parenting plan with the court that explains how time sharing and transportation will be divided between the parents after the move. During relocation proceedings, it is also possible for one or both of the parents to request that the court permit a temporary relocation until the final hearing. Similarly, courts are permitted to prohibit any relocation with the child until a final hearing when the issue will be formally decided.

Petition to Relocate  

In the event that the relocating party’s former spouse will not agree to a move, he or she will need to file a Petition to Relocate with the court. These petitions must contain certain information in order to be considered valid, including:

  • The physical address of where the petitioner and the child will live;
  • The proposed moving date;
  • The proposed post-relocation visitation schedule; and
  • The reason for relocation.

Once this petition has been filed, the other spouse will have 20 days to file an objection. If he or she fails to do so, the judge will most likely approve the move, but only if it is in the child’s best interests. In the event that the petitioner’s former spouse does file an objection, however, the court will schedule a hearing where both parties will have to present their arguments on whether or not they believe the move is appropriate, after which, the judge will make a final ruling.

Call Today for Legal Assistance  

Whether you’re attempting to relocate with your children, or your former spouse is trying to do so, it’s important to understand Florida law on parental relocation. A family law attorney can provide invaluable guidance on these issues, so if you have questions about relocating with your child, please call 954-945-7591 to schedule a consultation with dedicated child relocation attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today.


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