Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer

Understanding Florida Parental Relocation Laws

When you are divorced and are the custodial parent of a child, or children, in Florida, you cannot simply pack up and move to a new state. The other parent has to be involved and there are a myriad of legal hurdles you need to be prepared to address.

For example, under Florida law, a custodial parent seeking to move more than 50 miles away with a child for more than 60 days (i.e. not an extended vacation, but a permanent move) is legally required to notify their ex-spouse prior to the move. Their agreement will help expedite the process.

If your ex-spouse agrees to the move, a written agreement must be submitted to a Florida court that includes your ex-spouse’s consent to the move, any visitation schedule modifications, and any travel arrangements that may be necessary to ensure visitation rights are not violated. If another party also has visitation rights (e.g., a grandparent, nephew, stepparent, etc.), the court requires that they also be consulted about the proposed move. Once these steps are taken, a decision will be entered by the court either approving or denying the move.

What If Your Ex-Spouse Objects to the Move?

This happens quite often, especially if you are attempting to move to another state far away where regular visitation will be difficult. If this happens, you must file a petition for relocation with a Florida court. This petition must include the following:

– The address and phone number of your new proposed residence;

– When you are planning to move;

– The reasons you are seeking to move (e.g., a new job, attending school, moving in with someone, etc.);

– A proposed parenting and visitation schedule for after you move;

– A proposal for transportation arrangements to accommodate the newly proposed parenting and visitation schedule; and

– A notice informing your ex-spouse on how to object to the petition and the consequences of failing to do so.

Best Interest of the Child

A judge reviewing your petition will analyze it with the following question in mind: “what is in the child’s best interests?” If moving away from friends and family will be a traumatic experience for your child or children, the court may deny the petition and prohibit you from moving. If, on the other hand, the move will result in the child, or children, having a better living situation or the move is scheduled to avoid any major disruption to your child attending school, the court may grant the petition and allow the move.

What If Your Ex-Spouse Does Not Respond to Your Petition?

If the noncustodial parent fails to respond to your petition to move, a judge will follow the presumption that the proposed move is in your child’s best interests and allow it.

Contact an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Parental Relocation Attorney Today

As you can see, the simple act of moving can become quite complicated when you are divorced. This is why you should contact experienced Fort Lauderdale attorney Vanessa L. Prieto to help guide you through the process. We understand the process and how to craft a petition that will be valid in a court of law. Contact us today to set up a time to talk about your relocation issue. We are available by phone at 954-800-2362 or contact us online. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For your convenience, we offer Saturday appointments upon request.