When you do not have children, you have the freedom to relocate anywhere in the world at any time. While a divorce may restore much of the independence you had when you were single, you cannot freely move if you had a child with your former spouse. In Florida, any move greater than 50 miles that is either permanent or lasting longer than 60 days requires either the consent of the non- custodial parent or a court order. An experienced relocation attorney can help in this process.
When Both Parents Agree
When both parents agree, they must submit their agreement to the court. This includes both the non-custodial parent’s written consent to the move and the proposed changes to the visitation schedule. Because short, weekly visits will often become impossible, the parents will usually agree to give the non- custodial parents longer visitation periods during school breaks. While the court must give final approval to any arrangement, it generally will approve it as long as the parents show why it is in the best interests of the child.
When the Non-Custodial Parent Objects
If the non-custodial parent doesn’t agree, they must file a written notice with the court. The court will then decide if the move is in the best interest of the child taking into account several factors including the:
- Distance of the move
- Purpose of the move (unique job opportunity or an attempt at revenge?)
- Reason for the opposition to the move
- Proposed visitation schedule
- Child’s relationships with other family members and friends
- Child’s preferences if of sufficient maturity
If you’re near Melbourne, Palm Bay, or surrounding Florida communities and you or your former spouse wants to move with your children, contact Valentin & Studstill, PLLC for professional help from a relocation attorney.