One of the most challenging parts of child custody arrangements is when one parent wants to move. There are many reasons for such a move– getting a better job, changing to a different school system, and so on– and the laws and rules governing what happens to custodial arrangements in Florida when a parent wants to move are complex.
What is the 50 mile rule?
Unless a document specifies otherwise, in Florida, the parent seeking to move is considered the primary parent. The move counts as long as it is a distance of at least 50 miles from the last address of that parent and they will spend at least 60 days there. This law also states that parents can form an agreement about a custodial arrangement between them that defines transportation and timing of visits. If both parents sign off, they can proceed with that plan.
Otherwise, the moving parent can send the other parent a notice informing them of the new address, new contact info, and the reasons for the move. The other parent then has 30 days to reply and raise issues about the move. If they do reply, then that can lead to a hearing where the court will decide whether the move is in the interests of the child and the parents.
The 50-mile rule establishes what counts as a move and what triggers the legal process of getting the relocation approved. The agreement path is shorter and easier, but the court does allow for disputes. Filing the right paperwork on time is a significant factor in whether the court sides with you or not.