When a Florida couple ends their relationship, there are myriad issues that will be worrisome. If they have children, child custody and parenting time will frequently come to the forefront in the list of concerns. Even after the parties have come to an agreement or the court has issued a declaration as to where the child live and what the visitation schedule will be, other challenges can come up. That includes if the custodial parent wants to relocate. This does not necessarily need to be contentious, but it can stoke acrimony. It is important to understand the law and how each parent is protected.
How parental relocation is addressed under Florida law
If the parent wants to move from the residence at the time of the child custody order and wishes to modify the time-sharing agreement, it is known as relocation. If the distance is 50 miles from the previous residence, the other parent must give his or her approval. Some parents can agree on the terms by themselves. They will sign an agreement that gives consent; details access and parenting time for the parent who is not relocating; and lists the transportation protocol for the child to spend time with the non-custodial parent. This is preferable to all involved as it avoids the need for a potentially contentious dispute.
However, some parents might object and the custodial parent will need to file a petition to relocate. This will be done if there is no agreement between the parties. The petition must have the following information: where the parent and child will live; the mailing address if it is different from the physical address; the reasons for the relocation such as a new job; proof of the job offer; a proposal to allow the other parent access to the child; and a signed statement. The other parent has the right to lodge a legal objection to the petition to relocate.
Relocation and other child custody issues may require legal advice
Child custody can spark a series of emotions that result in a disagreement between the parents. The child’s best interests are paramount with child custody and parenting time. While it is a best-case scenario that the parents can come to an agreement on their own, that is not always possible. Regardless, it is wise to have legal advice from the start to ensure the parents’ rights are adhered to. A family law firm that understands child custody and all it entails may be able to help.