As a parent, you have a right to spend time with your children. Even if you and your ex do not get along, your ex cannot deny you access to your children. With all this remote work resulting from the pandemic, many people are realizing that they are no longer tied to a certain location for work. As a result, moving to another part of the state or country has now become a reality. But if you have a custody order, the law says that you cannot simply pack up and move your kids to another location without permission from your ex or the court. This law applies to any parental relocation that is more than 50 miles from where you currently live. Here’s more on parental relocation, and what you can do if you need help in your custody and relocation matter.
If you have a valid custody order or a paternity case that has been filed, then you will likely need permission from your ex or the court to relocate. To be sure, the law does not prevent you from moving any time you please. What the law does say is that if you decide to move, then you may not be able to bring your kids with you or continue with your visitation schedule unless you receive permission from your ex or the court. If you violate that law, then you may face a contempt of court action and the potential loss of your custody rights. Again, Florida’s relocation law only applies if you relocate more than 50 miles away from your current residence.
By Agreement: There may be circumstances where it is necessary for you to relocate. Your job could assign you to another area, or you may want to move closer to your family or friends. In these scenarios, you may be able to work out an agreement with your ex. To do this, you will obviously need to communicate to them your desire to move and why. You may also need to alter your custody agreement to reflect the change. This may require you to make an adjustment to the time that you spend with your children. If you plan on relocating across the country, then you may need to work out an agreement where your children will spend a part of the year with you, and the remainder with your ex. How the cost of travel will be paid will also need to be included in your updated custody agreement. It is important that you understand that the agreement that you work out with your ex will need to be approved by the court before you can relocate.
By Court Order: If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement, then you will need to ask the court to come to a decision on whether you are allowed to relocate. In order to do this, you will need to file a Petition to Relocate. Also, you’ll have to notify all affected parties (e.g. your ex) of your petition and court dates. What this means is that if the child’s grandparents have visitation rights, then they will also need to be alerted to your desire to relocate. If your ex or any other person(s) that has court ordered visitation rights does not attend the relocation hearing, then the judge will likely grant your request. If they do attend, then a hearing will be conducted in front of a judge where evidence and testimony will be taken. The judge will then make a decision based on what they believe is in the best interest of the child.
In the event that you have a relocation hearing, the court will look at a number of factors according to Florida law in coming to a decision on your request to relocate. Still, it is important that you understand that the court can also look at anything it believes will help it come to a decision on what is in the child’s best interest. Here are some of the major factors:
Relocation can be a thorny issue that necessitates the court’s involvement. Relocation rules are complex in Florida, so if your aim is to either relocate or prevent your ex from doing so, you will want to have a skilled family law attorney on your side. They can provide you with useful guidance on Florida’s relocation rules, and how to overcome obstacles relating to them. The Joseph Firm, P.A. is comprised of skilled family law attorneys who are ready to help you with relocation, child custody and other matters relating to your family. To learn more, call The Joseph Firm, P.A. at 305.501.0992 or contact us online.