Can I Relocate With My Child After DivorceEven after a divorce is final, there are a number of situations and circumstances that can cause friction between you and your co-parent. Cohabitation is a difficult topic to discuss, particularly if the co-parenting relationship is contentious. If you want to relocate out of state with your child, you’ll have to meet certain standards set by the court.

Distance Matters

Florida law allows a parent to move within 50 miles of their current residence with their child. A move of this distance does not require any additional paperwork or permission from the other parent. If you want to move more than 50 miles away from your place of residence, you must get written agreement from the other parent or serving a Petition to Relocate. Moving without the permission of the other parent or the court may put you in contempt of a court order, and as a result, you may be required to return to your previous residence. A previous attempt to move without permission can be taken into account in future modifications of your timesharing schedule or parenting plan.

Your Child’s Best Interests

Florida law requires any move be in the best interest of the child. If the other parent objects to the petition for relocation, you both have the chance to present your case to the court. The court uses a wide range of criteria to determine whether or not a move is in the best interest of the child:

  • The ability of the non-relocating to maintain their relationship with the child after the move
  • The likelihood that the moving parent will comply with court orders after the move
  • The reason for the relocation—the parent’s desire to move is not considered sufficient
  • Each parent’s job and economic circumstances, including their ability to provide for child’s material needs
  • Whether or not the relocation request is made in good faith
  • The child’s probable quality of life after the move
  • Any reports of substance abuse or domestic violence
  • How the move might affect the child’s upbringing
  • The child’s preference—typically, the older a child is, the more weight their preference has

The Court Process

This process begins when you file a petition to relocate. Your paperwork must contain the date of the intended move, the address you intend to move to, the reasons for the relocation, a proposed visitation schedule, and a proposed transportation plan.

After you have filed this document with the court, the other parent has 20 days to file an objection to your intent to relocate. If the other parent does not object, the court might allow the relocation without a court date. If they object within 20 days, you must go to court. You have the chance to demonstrate how the move is in the child’s best interest, and other parent gets the chance to show why staying is in the child’s best interest. The judge then decides whether or not to grant the relocation request.

We’re Here to Help With Your Relocation Case

Whether you want to move to have a better support system or start your dream job, we understand that circumstances change. Get the legal support you need — contact Carolan Family Law Firm, P.A. in Coral Gables to schedule your consultation. Call us at (305) 358-2330.

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