What If I Want to Move Out of State With My Children?
Relocation disputes are among the most difficult and emotionally charged family law cases. It can be particularly challenging when you want to move out of state and your co-parent is not on board with your decision. Under Florida law, you will need the permission of your co-parent and or a court order if you want to move out of state or to a location that is 50 or more miles away from your current home.
What If The Other Parent Agrees to The Relocation?
If you are fortunate enough to have a cooperative co-parent who does not oppose your relocation plans, you can create a written agreement with them. The agreement must clearly state that all parties involved have given their permission for the relocation. It must also detail a reasonable time-sharing arrangement that your co-parent and other relevant parties can refer to when they want to visit the child. If needed, the agreement must also include any transportation arrangements.
What If The Other Parent Does Not Agree to The Relocation?
Unfortunately, not all co-parents can easily reach an agreement in relocation cases. If this applies to your case, you must file a petition with the court to express your wishes to relocate with your child and serve it to your co-parent. Your co-parent must respond to your petition within 20 days of receiving the petition. Otherwise, if the judge deems that the relocation is in the best interest of your child, the judge may grant your request without hearing your co-parent’s side and why they are opposed to your relocation plans.
How Will The Judge Determine If Relocation is In The Best Interest of The Child?
Judges must weigh all the pros and cons of the proposed relocation to determine whether it would be in the best interests of the child. They usually consider these factors:
- Whether you are relocating due to a job opportunity that will increase your earning potential and work experience
- Whether you’re moving for an educational opportunity for you or your child
- Whether your child’s quality of life will improve if you relocate
- Whether you have extended family in the new location
- If applicable, if you’re remarrying and this marriage would be beneficial to your child
It is also crucial to note that the judge will take into account any negative impacts of the proposed relocation on the wellbeing of your child, particularly reduced contact with their other parent. The judge must also make sure that you are not just moving to keep your child away from the other parent. This is why you must prove to the judge that relocating will directly and positively impact your child.
Speak to a Skilled Florida Family Law Attorney Today
To learn more about the relocation laws in Florida and how they specifically affect your case, get in touch with our Florida family law attorney, Brian McMahon, right away. Call our office at 772-228-6701 or send us an online message to set up a free case review with our Florida family law attorney.