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Can You or Your Former Spouse Move with Your Child?

A child custody and parenting plan order will set out many different guidelines about how you and your child’s other parent should share parental rights and responsibilities while your children are still dependents. These guidelines can involve primary physical custody, visitation schedule, how you will share in making decisions for your child, and much more. However, there are situations in which the circumstances of one parent may change and the provisions of the custody agreement are no longer feasible. One common change in circumstances is the need or want to move the child to another area of Florida or even to another state. There are many legal issues involved in child relocation and you should always seek the assistance of an attorney if relocation has become an issue in your case.

If You Agree to Relocation

If a parent plans to take a child over 50 miles away for more than 60 days, Florida law states they must obtain permission to do so from the other parent. In some situations, the other parent may simply agree to the relocation. Even so, the parents must submit an agreement to the court for approval before the move can take place. This agreement must also set out the new visitation and time-sharing schedule for after the move.

If You Do Not Agree

Cases can become significantly more complex if the noncustodial parent does not give his or her permission for the relocation. In such situations, the parent wishing to move must petition the court for permission to do so. If the other parent does not respond to the petition, the court will generally approve the relocation. If the other parent opposes the petition, a hearing will be held for the court to decide what is in the best interests of the child.

Many factors may be considered when determining whether a relocation would be in the best interests of the child. Some factors include the following:

  • How the move will affect the child’s relationship with each parent, siblings, or others who are important to the child;
  • How the move would affect the child’s physical, emotional, and educational well-being and development;
  • What the child wants;
  • The chances of preserving a meaningful relationship with the other parent after the relocation;
  • The reasons the parent wants to relocate, including whether the reasons are valid and whether the move will increase the child and parent’s quality of life and financial circumstances.

Contact an Experienced Boca Raton Child Custody Attorney for a Free Consultation

Many issues regarding child custody can arise in the months and years after an initial custody order is issued. While relocation is one of the most serious issues that can affect child custody, parents can have major disagreements about vacations, education, health care decisions, and much more. It is critical to have representation by an experienced family law attorney who thoroughly understands child custody matters in Florida both in your initial case and any subsequent issues that come up. If you are facing a child custody case, call the law office of Alan R. Burton in Boca Raton at 954-229-1660 for help today.