After a divorce, some parents in Florida might consider relocating. While looking for a new start after a split makes sense, when there are children involved, there are rules that must be followed if a parent wants to move. The rules are there to protect the best interests of the child.
What steps should you follow?
If you are considering relocating with your children, there are some steps you need to follow. Depending on whether the other parent agrees with your relocation request or not, you might need to request permission from the court and even change child custody arrangements. The steps to follow include:
- Informing the other parent of your intention to relocate with your child
- Drafting an order of consent if the other parent agrees and submitting it to the court
- Seeking mediation or going to court for permission if the other parent does not grant consent
What does the court consider during a relocation request?
Because the court is tasked with protecting the best interests of the child, when a parent requests to relocate with the children the court will consider a variety of factors, beginning with the intent of the move. Only good faith moves are usually permitted, including the parent relocating due to a better job opportunity or to be closer to family for quality child care. If the court decides that the move was not in good faith, for example, if the parent wants to move to get away from their ex-spouse or to limit the child’s relationship with the other parent, the court might not allow the move. As well, the court will consider how the move will affect the child custody arrangements, the child’s emotional stability, what the child wants, how far the parent is moving and any alternatives to moving for the family.