Relocating While Under Florida Child Custody Agreement Means Following Specific Rules
Divorce is among the most stressful things people can go through in life and when there are children involved, the stakes can be much higher. Daily life becomes significantly more complex for parents who share custody of children.
There are schedules to coordinate and weekends and holidays to navigate. There are added costs of visitation and travel and communication challenges galore.
When one parent decides they need to move the children, the complications multiply.
A parent trying to relocate a child or children out of town or out of state are regularly the most contentious of all child custody cases.Relocating a child any real distance from his or her other parent inevitable causes challenges for the other parent.
If the other parent was spending quality parenting time with the children, that can be lost if the parent with primary custody moves the child away. Maintaining regulated parenting time when one of the parents is more than a short drive away becomes almost impossible or it becomes so infrequent that one parent inevitably feels like they are being blocked out of their child’s life.
There are massive changes to a family when divorce pushes parents apart. Opportunities come up and the other parent is no longer involved in that decision-making process. Sometimes a new job comes up that will be a good career move or just better money. Other times, parents with primary custody can feel overwhelmed and want to move closer to where family can help share caregiving responsibilities.
In these cases, the relocating parent often expects the court to be understanding that they are trying to do the best thing for the children by moving to a place where the family will be more comfortable.
Indeed, a family law judge will take those things into account when looking over the child custody arrangements. That judge also will look at the relationship the children have with the other parent and what kind of hardship a move will place on that relationship and ones with other family members.
If the other parent opposes the move, it can be difficult to convince a judge to allow children to be moved far away from a parent. The law in Florida has requirements and procedures in place that govern what happens when a parent who is involved in a custody agreement or a custody dispute wants to move more than 50 miles away from the other parent. The relocating parent must notify the other parent in writing about the move and they must draft a new custody agreement that can work within the new distance.
The parent who is not moving has the righto understand why the primary custody parent is moving. There are plenty of reasons why parents move their families, like pursuing a better education or seeking help for a medical condition. The court is going to be tied to a standard of doing what is best for the child. Making a case that separating the child from the other parent geographically can be difficult.