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May 04, 2018.
posted in Child Custody

On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.

If you are considering a big move, your child custody arrangement should be one of the top things on your mind. Florida law prohibits a parent from relocating their home more than 50 miles away from their original residence without approval from the court or by written agreement with the other parent. You can create this agreement with help from a Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney, or, if the other parent does not agree to the move, you can get the court involved.

Agreement to Relocation and a Long-Distance Parenting Plan

If you have not yet made it through the divorce or child custody process when you realize that you want or need to move, you can include the new address or location as part of the underlying agreement. Being able to do this makes the entire process much more manageable. However, in many cases, the need to move does not arise until long after a divorce or child custody agreement is finalized.

The other parent may just agree to allow you to relocate and develop a long-distance parenting plan that will work for your situation. In those cases, the process to get approval is pretty straightforward. You simply have to file a Notice of Intent to Relocate with the Court and adjust your parenting plan according to your new agreement. Keep in mind, filing this document is only appropriate when both parents agree to the move and the adjustments to the parenting plan.

Petitioning for Relocation When Parents Cannot Agree

If the other parent doesn’t agree to the relocation, you can ask the Court’s permission to make a move and change your parenting plan. Your petition must include basic information such as:

  • The location or address (if known) of the new residence
  • The home telephone number of the new address
  • The date of the proposed relocation

You must also include the reason that you are relocating. If it is for a new job, you must attach a job offer to the petition. You should also include a proposed timesharing schedule and information about transportation arrangements as well.

Determine Whether Relocation is Appropriate

The Court will examine several factors that set out by statute under Florida law when it decides whether to grant permission to relocate. Some of these factors include:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The age and needs of a minor child (how the relocation will impact him or her)
  • Ability to preserve the relationship with the non-locating parent
  • The child’s preference regarding where to live
  • Whether the move will increase the child’s quality of life
  • Whether the relocation is brought in good faith (not just to distance the child from the other parent)
  • Any history of substance abuse or violence against the child or other spouses
  • Economic circumstances of both parents

Getting Legal Help with Your Relocation

Keep in mind that moving without an agreement or the court’s permission is a violation of your parenting plan. Your rights regarding your child could be affected by such a decision. Never move without addressing these relocation issues first.

Don’t leave this important issue to chance—contact a Fort Lauderdale family law lawyer for help. Gustavo E. Frances has years of experience that he wants to put to work for you. Call 954-533-2756 to set up an appointment.

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