Relocating With Children During a Divorce in Florida

By Cindy Chung

When parents divorce in Florida, they generally need a court order for custody and visitation. Before either parent relocates with the children, the parents should check the terms of any existing court orders, whether temporary or permanent, for limits on parental relocation. Parents often need to file petitions for court approval before moving away with their children. A mother or father on either side of a parental relocation case may benefit from representation by a Florida attorney.

Divorce and Parental Rights

During a divorce, married parents often need to negotiate custody and visitation issues. Florida state laws use the term "parenting plan" to describe a court order for child custody. A parenting plan explains each parent's rights and responsibilities related to child-rearing decisions on important topics such as education, health and religion. In addition, a parenting plan often includes a time-sharing schedule to establish when a mother or father can spend time with the children. Although state law permits a court to determine a parenting plan, parents can also write a parenting plan together and submit the plan for court approval.

Parenting Plan and Relocation

A court-ordered or court-approved parenting plan established during divorce as a temporary or permanent order might include requirements related to parental relocation with the children. Florida state laws specifically allow a court to restrict each parent's right to take the children to another state or country. The court may limit the right to travel outside of Florida as well as the right to permanently relocate outside of Florida. When a court order prohibits international travel or relocation, the court may require the surrender of the child's passport.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Petition to Relocate

Florida state laws define relocation as any move at least 50 miles away from the parent's current residence for a duration of at least 60 days. Parents can sign a relocation agreement voluntarily if both parents agree to the move. However, if the parents do not agree, the mother or father seeking to move must file a Petition to Relocate with a Florida state court. The other parent has an opportunity to respond to the petition and oppose the move. When the parents have a pending case for a contested relocation, a court may grant a temporary order to allow the relocation before the court makes a permanent decision.

Legal Factors to Determine Parental Relocation

When parents cannot agree on relocation, the parent who would like to relocate must show the court that the move is in the child's best interests. State laws establish a list of factors for the court to consider in a contested relocation. These factors include the parent's reasons for moving, both parents' economic circumstances, impact on the child, child's preferences and relocating parent's willingness to maintain the other parent's relationship with the child. The court may seek to preserve the parenting plan established during the couple's divorce and maintain stability in the child's life.

Relocation Without Court Order

A parent should understand Florida's relocation laws before choosing to relocate without court approval. If the terms of a couple's divorce establish a parenting plan or place limits on relocation with the children, a relocation without a judge's approval may lead to legal consequences. A state court may initiate contempt proceedings against the parent or use the parent's relocation as a reason to change the custodial arrangement in favor of the other parent.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Child Custody & Relocation Rights in Tennessee
 

References

Resources

Related articles

Can a Divorced Mother Move out of the State of Indiana With Her Children?

The terms of an Indiana court order for custody often affect whether a mother can move away from the state with her children. The right to relocate may also depend on the other parent's custodial rights and any objections he has to the move. A mother who plans to relocate should understand the relevant laws and procedures required in Indiana. She might benefit from consulting with an Indiana lawyer who handles custody issues, especially if the other parent opposes the relocation.

Divorce Law in Virginia & Taking Minor Children Out of State

With the breakup of a marriage, it may become necessary to move the children out of state. This common issue often requires court intervention because both parents have a right to control the upbringing of their children, including where the children live. This is not to say that a reasonable request to relocate will be denied, but the parent wishing to relocate the children must satisfy the court that the move is in the child's best interests and not an attempt to alienate the children from the other parent.

Pennsylvania State Regulations About Proximity of Parents to Children in Divorce

Child custody and divorce cases can be highly contentious for both parties. Some parents wish to move away to avoid the stress of contact with the other parent. And, in some cases, the parent may want to move to limit the parent's contact with the child. This can be damaging to the child, and Pennsylvania custody decisions are made according to the child's best interests. Consequently, parents who wish to relocate must follow a specific procedure, and the court will not always permit relocation of the child.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Michigan Child Custody Laws & Moving Restrictions

Relocation plans often result in conflict between divorced parents if one parent wants to move away with the children. ...

Laws on Relocating Children After Divorce in Illinois

A parent with custodial rights may want to relocate with the children after divorce. For instance, some parents move to ...

Florida Divorce Laws on Moving Out of State With Children

Divorced parents rarely remain in the same houses, or even in the same state for their child’s entire childhood. ...

Parental Rights Terminated Due to Child Abandonment

Child abandonment can result in serious legal consequences. For some parents, child abandonment may lead to the ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED