When the custodial parent wants to relocate, there are certain procedures they need to follow under Florida law in regards to the non-custodial parent. They must notify the non-custodial parent of any move of greater than 50 miles for any period 60 days or longer. If the non-custodial parent agrees, they must notify the court in writing of this agreement. They can also notify the court of any changes to the visitation agreement and other such arrangements. If others have visitation rights (such as grandparents) they should also be included in this agreement.
This is a straightforward scenario, but what happens when the two parties do not agree to the move? When this occurs, a judge will need to approve the move. The first step is for the custodial parent to file details about the move in a petition to the court. This should include important information such as the date of the proposed move, the physical location, the reason for the move, etc. If the non-custodial parent responds to this petition, the judge will then examine what is in the best interest of the child.
There is no set formula for this determination and will be decided based on the individual facts of each particular case. Some of the factors the court will take into account, however, include:
- The child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent and other relationships which would be impacted by this move;
- How the move will impact the child’s development;
- Whether alternative arrangements for visitation need to be made to preserve this relationship;
- The reason for this proposed move;
- The preference of the child (if applicable).
Some reasons the court might find that a move is appropriate is if the custodial parent is moving to a new town in Florida that is still a reasonable drive from their original hometown. Some reasons they might deny the move would be because the parent wants to move to spite the non-custodial parent. Again, each case will be decided based on the individual circumstances of the case, so a parental relocation attorney can give you advice based on the specific facts of your situation.
Whether you are the custodial parent looking to move or object to your child’s move, the Law Offices of James S. Cunha can help. To schedule a consultation, contact our office right away.