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Custodial Parent Relocation After a Florida Divorce


It’s not necessarily uncommon for a custodial parent to want to relocate to a new area after a Florida divorce. Sometimes, this move can be across the state while other times it can be across the country. However, when parents share custody or one has visitation rights, it is not as easy a matter as just picking up and moving as you see fit. You must petition the court for permission, otherwise you could be accused of parental kidnapping.

If you are the custodial parent, or your ex is and is the one wanting to move, it’s important to speak with a Boca Raton child custody lawyer right away. You need to know what your rights are and how to ensure your ex does not run off with your child without permission.

When Florida Court Permission is Required for Relocation

If your plans include a move that is more than 50 miles from your original location, you will need to get court permission. It can be tricky to obtain court permission as the reason for the relocation has to be in the best interest of the child, not the sole interest of the parent who is looking to relocate. It is mandatory that you comply with Florida law or it could open you up to a number of legal problems — both civil and criminal.

The dilemma of wanting to relocate is a real issue that many parents face after a divorce. Imagine you have been offered the job of your dreams with a great salary, incredible benefits, and room for growth. However, the job is in California. Your ex is not likely to share the same excitement and enthusiasm as you do for this incredible opportunity, even if it means providing a better life for your kids.

In order to legally relocate, you either need written permission from your ex and anyone else who has the right to time-sharing, or you must serve a Petition to Relocate. Your ex, and anyone else who has time sharing, will have 20 days to object to the petition. This is where your Florida child custody attorney can be of assistance. In order to successfully pursue a relocation order, you need evidence showing this move is not just self-serving, and it truly is in the best interest of your child as well. Your attorney can help gather evidence, have experts weigh in, or secure whatever else needs to be done to show this relocation will benefit your child.

This can be a challenge if the non-relocating parent is actively involved in your child’s life. Perhaps he or she takes your kids to the doctor, coaches their sports team, requests more overnight visits, etc. The expense of flying your kids back and forth between California and Florida regularly may not only be cost prohibitive, but it likely isn’t in their best interests either.

Contact a Florida Child Custody Lawyer

If you have questions on custodial parent relocation after a Florida divorce, contact the experienced Boca Raton child custody and parenting plan attorneys at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White at 561-391-9943 to schedule an initial consultation.


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