After divorce, a Florida resident may wish to get a fresh start by moving out of state. If the couple has children together, however, shared custody may impact whether either parent can relocate without permission from the court.
Review the factors that affect relocating with children when parents share custody in Florida.
Agreeing on relocation
For custody purposes, the state considers relocation any move of more than 50 miles from the parent’s current residence that lasts longer than six months. Parents can avoid going to court if they agree on the relocation by submitting a signed contract that details the terms of the agreement, including the new time-sharing schedule with provisions for transportation. The court will ratify the valid agreement and issue a new custody order.
Requesting court permission
When parents do not agree, the parent who wants to relocate must seek permission from the court. He or she must file a petition with the proposed new address, the desired date of relocation, the reasons for moving and the new time-sharing proposal with transportation provisions.
The other parent has 20 days to respond with his or her own petition. This document should provide details about the relationship he or she shares with the child and indicate reasons for opposing the move. The court will schedule a hearing at which each parent can present their position.
Factors in the legal decision include whether the relocating parent has good faith reasons for the move, whether the move will significantly improve the child’s life, the child’s preference depending on age, the child’s relationship with each parent, the new custody proposals, and any other factors impacting the child’s best interests.