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Custody Law: Do I Need to File Anything to Legal Relocate my Child?

In a divorce, it is common for parents to live in different states, making it difficult to decide which parent their children should live with. In Florida, laws provide strict procedures that the parents must follow before moving their children to a different state.

Child custody in Florida

Florida law aims to give each parent equal rights to care for their children and does not use the term custody in their statutes nor does the law typically name a primary and secondary parent. Because it is usually in the best interest of the children, both parents usually have time sharing schedules with their children. Because the family’s time sharing arrangement is made based on the family’s situation directly after the divorce, it is commonly changed. If one parent moves more than 50 miles from the other parent, they are required by Florida law to notify the other parent.

Relocating your child in a divorce

If both parents agree on the relocation of the child, the moving parent must get a written agreement from the other parent that reflects that parent’s consent, visitation rights and any transportation arrangements made.

If the parents cannot agree, the moving parent must file a Notice of Intent to Relocate with the court that issued the last custody order and serve the notice to the other parent. This notice must include all of the details of the move including the address, the reason for the relocation and proposed visitation. The court will then hold a hearing to hear evidence from both sides on why the child should or should not be relocated. The court will determine if the move is in the child’s best interest based on the child’s preference, the feasibility of preserving the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent and the reasons for the relocation.

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