Thinking of Relocating?: What You Need to Know About Child Custody Laws in Florida

Whether you want to be closer to family or just got offered a new job, sometimes the time comes to relocate. If you have shared custody with your child’s other parent, though, this can sometimes be a little tricky. In Florida, if you want to move more than 50 miles away for a duration of over 60 days, you must let the other parent know of your plans and get their consent. If they aren’t receptive to the idea and won’t give their consent, it then becomes necessary to get a court order. Depending on how strongly the other parent feels about keeping your child close by, you could even be facing a legal battle. In today’s blog, we’re looking at some of the things you will need to know about Florida’s laws regarding child custody and relocation.

Section 61.13001 of the Florida Statutes says “If a parent attempts to relocate with a child and fails to comply with section 61.13001(3) of the Florida Statutes regarding the petition to relocate, such parent may be subject to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child, and such non-compliance may be taken into account by the court in a subsequent determination or modification of the parenting plan, access, or the time-sharing schedule.” Clearly, this is a matter that the courts take very seriously!

What to do When Both Parents Agree to the Move

Even if both parents agree that the move is okay, you will still need to file a written agreement with the court. This agreement must include the noncustodial parent’s consent, and a plan for whatever changes will need to be made to the visitation schedule, as well as records of transportation secured for visitation purposes.

What to do When the Other Parent Doesn’t Agree

If you want to move, but the other parent (noncustodial) won’t give his or her consent, you must file a petition with the court asking them to allow the move. This petition needs to include information about where you are moving and why you are moving.The noncustodial parent will then have to respond to the petition. If they fail to respond, the judge will generally allow the move as long as they agree that it is in the child’s best interest. If the noncustodial parent does respond rejecting your request, the case will have to go to trial.

What Happens at Trial

As in all family matters, the judge will make his or her decision with the child’s best interest as the highest priority. They will consider questions like: How will the move impact the child’s relationships with family and friends? Will it impact their physical or mental health? Will it impact their development? They will also consider your reasons for wanting to move alongside the other parent’s reasons for objecting.

Who can help?

If you are trying to relocate, the Sharp & Dye team can make sure your side of the story is heard. We have helped many families with relocation issues in and out of court. If you need guidance, we invite you to contact us today. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Sharp & Dye Law

Lindsey Sharp and Deborah Dye are attorneys who strive to provide compassionate representation and the highest level of service to our clients. The Sharp & Dye team has extensive experience in all areas of family law.

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