Can My Ex Relocate With My Child?
After a divorce, one spouse may wish to move away from the other in order to start fresh. However, this can become complicated when a child is involved. Florida law has strict rules regarding relocation with a child, and if your former spouse wishes to move with your child the experienced family law attorneys at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. in Tampa are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case to learn more about your legal options.
What is Relocation?
Relocation under Florida law refers to a permanent move that is at least fifty miles away from the previous residence. A permanent move is one that lasts for at least sixty days or more. A temporary move or a vacation does not count as a relocation, nor does moving for the specific purposes of the child’s education or medical care. A relocation can occur regardless of whether the parent wishes to remain in the state or cross state lines, so long as it meets the prerequisites of permanency and distance.
Methods for Relocation
There are two main ways that a parent can relocate with a child. The first occurs through the agreement of both parents. In Florida, the parents must both sign a written agreement that details the relocation in addition to all aspects of child custody and support that it affects. This includes an updated timesharing agreement between the parents as well as details on how the transportation will occur for visitation with the noncustodial parent. The court can then ratify the agreement for the relocation.
If the noncustodial parent disagrees with the relocation, the parent wishing to relocate must file an official petition with the court. The petition must include information like the address of the new residence, the date of relocation, the reasons for the move, and the proposed changes to the timesharing agreement. The noncustodial parent has twenty days to respond, and if they do the case goes to an official hearing. At the hearing, the judge will weigh many factors through the lens of whether the relocation is in the best interests of the child. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The child’s relationship with each parent,
- The child’s age and needs,
- The impact of the move on the child’s development,
- Costs and logistics,
- The child’s preference (if old enough),
- The reasons for and against relocation,
- Whether the relocation is happening for good faith reasons,
- Whether the noncustodial parent has complied with the existing elements of the divorce agreement,
- Whether either parent has a history of domestic violence or substance abuse, and
- Any other factor deemed relevant by the court.
To learn more about what the court may consider in your relocation case, talk to our office today.
Call or Contact Us Now
Do you have concerns about your former spouse relocating with your child? If so, the experienced and skilled Tampa family law attorneys at Bubley & Bubley are here to help. Call the office or contact us now to schedule a consultation.