These days it seems like our society is more mobile than ever. People in Florida are not afraid to seek employment in a different part of the state as they advance their careers. And many people these days buy a “starter” home before they move elsewhere to their “forever” home. However, this mobility becomes more complicated when child custody is involved.
Relocation by agreement
Under Florida law, when a divorced parent moves at least 50 miles away from their current residence for at least 60 days not including temporary absences and the child’s other parent agrees the move and the effect it will have on their access to the child and time-sharing then they can sign a written agreement of relocation. This agreement must show consent to the move and provide a definition of how the nonrelocating parent will have access to the child and a time-sharing plan. The agreement must also describe how the child will be transported between each parent’s house for time-sharing purposes.
Objection to relocation
Sometimes one parent wants to move away with the child and the child’s other parent objects to the move. In this case the court will consider several factors in determining whether to allow the relocation.
The court will consider each parent’s involvement in the child’s life as well as the length of time the child has had a relationship with both parents. The child’s developmental needs and how the move will impact them will be taken into consideration. Whether it is possible for the child and nonrelocating parent to preserve their relationship in light of the logistics of time-sharing following the move will be considered as will each parent’s financial circumstances.
In addition, if the child is of an age and maturity to express a preference this will be taken into account. Whether the move will provide the relocating parent and child with a better quality of life will be considered. The relocating parent’s reason for moving as well as the nonrelocating parent’s reason for objecting to the move will be considered. Each parent’s current employment and economic situation will be considered. Whether the move is sought in good faith and whether the objecting parent has met their financial obligations to the relocating parent will be considered. Whether substance abuse or domestic violence is an issue will also be considered.
Learn more about parental relocation in Florida
As this shows, there are steps that need to be taken to ensure a relocation is in the best interests of the child. This post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on parental relocation may be of interest to those who want to learn more about this topic.