After you have gone through all the work of developing a child custody agreement, it’s understandable if you don’t want to revisit those legal arguments for a long time. Of course, nothing stays the same forever, especially in parenting. For one reason or another, you may decide to move. How will relocation affect your time-sharing agreement?
First, note that Florida law defines relocation as a move that is at least 50 miles away for at least 60 days, whether within Florida or out of state. This must be a move with the intention of making the new place your residence. Vacations and other temporary moves don’t count. If you’re planning to move less than 50 miles away, you don’t have to worry about it.
Next, note that if you are a non-custodial parent, and you’re moving within Florida, your relocation typically won’t affect your child custody agreement. However, if you are moving out of state, you may have to modify your child support order.
If you are the custodial parent and you want to relocate with your child, you must file a petition with the court and serve it to the other parent. If the other parent doesn’t object to the move, you’re free to go.
Things get more difficult when the other parent does not want you to move with the child. Both parents have the right to visit their child. If your move is going to interfere with the other parent’s visitation rights, they have a right to object to your move. After receiving your petition to move, the other parent may file a response with the court objecting to the relocation.
If the other parent objects to your relocation, the court will hold a hearing where each parent gets to argue their case. The court will decide whether to allow the relocation based on whether it believes the move is in the best interest of the child.
If you are in this position, you will need to convince the court that the relocation is in the child’s best interests. For instance, you may be able to show that educational opportunities are better for your child in the new location. A skilled attorney may be able to help you craft a strong argument.