What do you need to know about moving out of state after divorce? According to Florida law, if you want to move a child more than 50 miles away, for more than 60 days, you must inform and obtain consent from the child(ren)’s other parent or, absent consent, obtain a Court order allowing you to do so.
According to Section 61.13001 of the Florida Statutes, “If a parent attempts to relocate with a child and fails to comply with section 61.13001(3) of the Florida Statutes regarding the petition to relocate, such parent may be subject to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child, and such non-compliance may be taken into account by the court in a subsequent determination or modification of the parenting plan, access, or the time-sharing schedule.”
If both parents agree to the move, they must file a written agreement in court that includes:
· Non-custodial parent’s approval of the move;
· Changes to the visitation schedule; and,
· Record of any transportation secured for visitation purposes.
If the non-moving parent disagrees, then the moving parent must petition the court to allow the move. This petition must include:
· reason(s) for the intended move;
· specific location of the intended move including address, mailing address and phone number, if available;
· proposal for visitation and parenting schedules after the intended move; and,
· a specific statutory language giving notice to the non-custodial parent on how to object to the intended relocation.
If the non-moving parent does not respond to the petition within the time period specified in the Statute, the judge will generally allow the move as long as the court determines it to be in the child(ren)’s best interests. If the non-moving parent responds with an objection, then the case generally proceeds to a hearing or trial.
Like most family court justices, Florida judges will always make their decision based on the welfare of the child(ren) and his/her/their best interests. In order to establish this, the judge will weigh the reasons presented for the move as well as the non-moving parent’s objection. Then the judge will carefully consider various factors concerning how the intended move will affect the child, including but not limited to:
· mental, physical, and emotional health and development; and,
· relationship with non-moving family or friends in the area.
There are many additional factors that weigh on the court’s decision. Regardless of whether you are the moving or non-moving parent, it is vital to seek assistance/consult from a lawyer who is well-versed in Florida family law to make sure your position is fairly and accurately represented.
If you find yourself dealing with this scenario, educate yourself by contacting Cynthia Pyfrom, P.A. prior to making any definitive decisions. Let Cynthia Pyfrom, Esq. put her passion for family law to work for you.