Like many other states, Florida has a specific law addressing how you must handle parental time-sharing if you need to move after a divorce or other child custody proceeding.
However, even though you need to understand Florida’s law, you should also make sure to review your court orders if you thinking about moving.
Florida’s law only applies to moves greater than 50 miles from where you lived at the time of the last time-sharing order. You may better understand “time-sharing” as child custody, parenting time, or visitation.
You are allowed to visit another location for up to 60 days with your child, although you may still have to follow other time-sharing orders. In some circumstances, you temporarily move for a longer time without having to follow the law.
Perhaps the easiest way to follow the law is for you to get the other parent to sign a written agreement about the move. The agreement should also set out a new time-sharing schedule, including who will provide transportation, if that is necessary.
Otherwise, if you need to move, you will need to file a petition asking the court permission to relocate and serve the petition on the other parent. If the other parent does not object in time, courts will generally enter an order permitting the move.
If the other parent objects, the court will have to hold hearings and decide whether it is in the best interest of the child to move. At least initially, it is up to you to prove moving is in your child’s best interest.
Relocation proceedings often have high stakes
Like other parents in the Orlando area, you may be moving for any number of good reasons, such as a job opportunity or family needs.
You may even be moving to escape a difficult or even dangerous situation. In any case, you certainly would not want to have to choose between moving alone and raising your children in a place you do not wish to live.
Lest you be tempted to ignore Florida’s law and move without permission, the potential consequences for violating the law can include being forced to return, financial penalties and having the court prohibit your move in the future.
If the other parent protests, getting permission to move from the court is going to require you to build a convincing legal case. You may wish to have professional assistance with doing so.