Divorce is often emotional and can lead to hard feelings between former spouses. Involving children only makes the situation more complicated. Ideally, the parents can put their differences to the side for the best interest of the child. In some cases, the resentment is so strong that the only resolution is to place physical distance between the ex-spouses. This can be complicated where children are involved, and both parents have been granted rights to the children. In this article, we will discuss relocating when you share custody with your ex-spouse.
Florida Relocation Statute
You can find Florida’s relocation law in Florida Statute 61.13001. The statute defines the difference between a custodial parent moving versus relocating.
A move is a relocation when one parent moves more than 50 miles from their current location for more than 60 consecutive days. For example, suppose a parent moves from Lithia, FL to Bloomington, FL. This move would be less than 50 miles, and the Florida Relocation Statute would not apply.
On the other hand, suppose a parent moves from Lithia, FL to Tallahassee, FL. This is a move of over 200 miles, so the Florida Relocation Statute comes into effect.
Relocating More Than 50 Miles
If one parent has to relocate with the child, then Florida Relocation Statute comes into play. This statute states that the parent who needs to move will have to give notice to the other parent. Failure to provide as much notice as possible may result in legal consequences, including losing custodial rights over the child.
How Does A Parent Get Permission To Relocate With A Child?
There are two ways a parent may be able to get permission or approval to relocate more than 50 miles with a child they share custodial rights for. The first option is to obtain permission or consent from the other parent that shares custody of the child. This is the best-case scenario as both parents can work together to work out agreements for visitation rights and financial support.
In a situation where the parents are not able to work together, then the parent seeking to relocate will need to get court approval. This might be the only option where one parent is scared of how the other parent might react to the news. This process takes longer as it may involve a modification to the child custody rights.
How Does A Parent Get Court Approval For Relocation?
To get court approval for relocation, the parent seeking to relocate will need to show the court that the relocation is in the child’s best interest. The court will consider some factors in determining the child’s best interest: whether the relocation offers financial stability to the family, better educational opportunities, an extended support network, or a safer environment.
Seek Legal Guidance
If you are a parent where you share custodial rights with a former spouse or partner and need to relocate for whatever reason, seek the advice of legal counsel to understand your obligations under the law. The lawyers at Thompson Law are experts in child custody cases and will help you navigate the legal issues involved with relocation with a child of shared custody. Please contact us for a consultation.