Making the Decision To Relocate With Your Child
In Florida, it is not uncommon for people to move from one area of the state to another, whether in pursuit of better career and housing opportunities or just for the sake of a change of scene. These moves are tricky when children are involved, due to the impact on school and social activities.
When you are divorced and involved in timesharing arrangements with your former spouse, the situation can be even more problematic. Child relocation restrictions may apply in your case, and you may need to either attempt to negotiate the issue with your ex or face going back to court. If you are considering leaving the area at some point in the future, it is important to be aware both of your rights and the factors the court will consider in approving your request.
Child Relocation Restrictions
Under section 61.13001 of the Florida State Statutes, which concerns parenting plans and timesharing arrangements, relocation is considered as any move that is 50 miles or more from where you currently reside, where you will live for a period of 60 days or more. If you are intent on making this type of move, there are several ways in which this situation might be handled:
- Voluntary agreements, where the other parent and any other person with legally entitled access to the child agree to the move;
- Court orders, in which a Petition for Relocation is filed with the court seeking an order permitting the move to take place.
In order to obtain a court order, you will need to state the date of your intended move, the reasons why the move is taking place, and a plan for a post-relocation visitation schedule to allow for continued timesharing with the child’s other parent.
Considerations In Allowing Parental Relocation
A Huffington Post report on ‘move away’ cases involving children relocating with one of their parents advises that the following are considerations that will likely impact your own decision to move, in addition to factoring into a judge’s decision in your case:
- Your current timesharing arrangement: Do you have primary responsibility for your child, attending to their educational, medical, and social needs while your ex only sees them on the weekends, or do you share responsibilities and time spent with the child evenly?
- The distance you are moving: Are you moving to the other side of Florida, which will require some slight maneuvering to arrange visitations, or are you moving several states away, where the other parent’s visits will likely be only on holidays and school breaks?
- The practicality of the move: Do you have an actual job and housing lined up, or are you hoping to ‘wing it’ once you get there? Is the area you are moving to likely to offer better opportunities than those where you currently live, or will you be facing the same financial climate?
Contact Our Office for Help
If you have a timesharing arrangement currently in place and are considering a relocation, contact our experienced Florida family law attorney today. At the Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, we can advise you on your rights and responsibilities in these matter, while assisting you in obtaining any court order you require.