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The rules for relocation with children after a divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Child Custody |

Rebuilding after a divorce takes time. The average divorced parent has a long adjustment period ahead after the end of a marriage. It takes time to acclimate to shared custody arrangements and even longer to adjust to economic changes when maintaining a separate household.

Parents often start looking for new opportunities after a Florida divorce. They may apply for better jobs, look for more affordable housing or even start dating. Changes in someone’s employment, housing or relationship status could prompt them to try to move with their children.

Relocations can be some of the most contentious custody issues for Florida families. What rules do parents have to abide by if they want to move away or relocate with their children after a divorce?

Parents often need to seek permission

A substantial move could potentially affect the relationship that one parent has with the children. A relocation could make regular custody exchanges impossible to achieve, especially if someone moves out of the state. Florida therefore requires that parents seek permission for any move that lasts longer than 60 days and takes the children more than 50 miles away from where they currently live.

Permission can come from the other parent. If they agree that the relocation is appropriate, the move-away process can be relatively simple and amicable. If there is a disagreement about the need to relocate, then the matter may need to go back to court.

What do judges consider in relocation cases?

A judge hearing a contested relocation request has to look at the situation carefully. They review the initial custody order and any evidence related to the planned move. The reasoning behind the move and the impact it may have on the child’s other parental relationship are key considerations.

The most important consideration for a judge handling contested custody matters is what might be in the best interests of the children. In some cases, judges grant the request for a parent to move away and make changes to the time-sharing arrangements to reflect the bigger distance between the households.

Other times, they may decline a parent’s request. Their only option may be to move away without the children and accept less time with them if they have to leave. The sooner someone begins preparing for a relocation request and the more careful they are about presenting their case, the better their chances of convincing the courts to grant them permission.

Learning about Florida’s rules for shared parenting scenarios can benefit those looking to move on after a divorce. Parents who employ an informed approach to a relocation case can increase their chances of obtaining the results they want in court.


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