Not so fast.
Understanding Florida Custody Laws and Relocation
During divorce, the courts will create a parental responsibility and time sharing plan that is in the best interest of the child. Frequently the outcome is shared parental responsibility where both parents have an equal right to make important decisions about their children’s education, health, and well-being. It also includes a shared time plan that dictates visitation rights and schedules.
If one parent unilaterally decides to relocate him or herself and the minor child, that plan set forth by the courts risks getting thrown out the window.
What to do if Your Ex Wants to Move to Another State
Moving to another state would significantly change the geographical relationship between a parent and child, which naturally also affects the amount of time a parent can spend with the child. A parent cannot move themselves or their child without permission from the other parent or the courts. Failure to get approval may mean being charged with contempt of court and in violation of Florida’s relocation laws.
If your ex is planning on relocating, be sure to talk to an experienced family lawyer. In some instances, if both parents agree to the relocation, they can sign a written agreement that the judge then turns into a court order. If the parents do not agree, your lawyer will help you pursue your best options for proceeding in court. Again, the courts will evaluate what is in the best interest of the child. Some factors include:
- How relocation will improve the quality of life for the parent and child
- What motives may be at play for the parent requesting relocation (is the move motivated by good faith?)
- The emotional, physical, and developmental needs of the minor child
- What the financial impact will be for each parent
- And more
When one parent moves to another state, it significantly alters the existing parental responsibility and time sharing plans in place by the courts or agreed to by the parents, but know that you have options. At Vasquez de Lara Law Group, we’ll help you understand your options and protect your rights during this difficult time in your life. Get in touch today to ask your questions about Florida custody laws.