Child Relocation

Navigating the laws surrounding child custody and child support can be difficult at times, especially if you or a co-parent are considering relocating. There will often be many factors to consider, and it is important that all necessary procedures and requirements are followed so as not to jeopardize your rights or the welfare of your child. Miami family law attorney Sandy T. Fox is a Florida Bar Board Certified Marital & Family Law specialist who has the experience and knowledge you need to address all child custody matters.

Florida Child Relocation

Under Florida law, a parent may not permanently relocate with a child to a location that is more than 50 miles from his or her original principal residence unless either (1) the other parent consents in writing to the relocation or (2) the Court officially allows the relocation. A permanent move is one that lasts more than 60 days, thus a long vacation or short-term arrangement may not be considered a permanent relocation.

Consenting to Relocation

Before involving the Florida courts in a child relocation, the parent who wishes to relocate has the option to obtain written permission from the other parent and/or any other persons entitled to time-sharing with the child. If all individuals agree, a new written time-sharing agreement will be created that acknowledges the relocation and sets a schedule for visits and transportation arrangements in light of the move. A Florida court will presume that such an agreement is in the best interests of the child and will, as standard procedure, adopt the details of the new time-sharing plan.

Court Approval for Relocation

Where parents cannot agree on a child relocation, the parent who wishes to relocate will be required to file a Petition to Relocate with the Florida courts. This petition must be served on the non-relocating parent, who has 20 days to file an objection with the court. If no objection is filed, the court will routinely allow the relocation. However, if the parent does file an objection, the relocating parent must prove why the relocation is in the best interest of the child. Relevant factors that the court may consider include:

  • The reason for seeking or opposing the relocation
  • Career opportunities for the parent with relocation
  • The age and developmental stage of the child
  • The nature of each parent’s involvement with the child
  • Whether the relocation will enhance the child’s life

After considering these factors, the court can choose to allow or deny the petition for relocation. It may also consider and adjust any relevant child support awards to reflect additional transportation costs incurred by the relocation.

Assessing Your Child Relocation Options

If you are currently in a child custody arrangement with a co-parent or former spouse and are considering relocation, or believe that a co-parent may request relocation in the near future, South Florida family law attorney Sandy T. Fox is here to help you understand and evaluate your relocation options. A Board Certified specialist in Florida Marital & Family Law, Sandy T. Fox can assist you in filing a Petition to Relocate or objecting to a proposed relocation that you believe is not in the best interests of the child. At the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, we understand that child custody and relocation issues are often emotional and contentious, and can provide you the legal advice you need to help resolve these matters as quickly as possible. If you have questions about child relocation, contact the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A., for a confidential consultation at (800) 596-0579 or online.

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