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Relocating When There Is A Custody Order In Place

So much stress, emotion, and energy can go into putting a custody order in place. By the time there is a finalized custody order, you probably hope that it will stay the same forever. That being said, we all know that the twists and turns of life are inevitable. Along the way, it is likely that a custody order will need to be revisited for one reason or another. Sometimes, only seemingly minor alterations to the order may be necessary. Other times, bigger life changes will merit bigger custody order changes. For instance, if one parent is seeking to relocate, then any changes to a custody order that follow suit are likely to be substantial.

Relocating When There Is A Custody Order In Place

A parent may want to move for a variety of reasons. There may be a career opportunity that would require a move. They may want to move closer to family. Whatever the reason may be for a parent wanting to move, worry over the custody order is likely to be a big factor in considering the move in the first place.

The first questions that come up when a parent is looking to move when there is a custody order in place is, how far away is the move and how long would the move be for? These questions are of central importance mainly because Florida law requires the other parent’s permission for a parent to move with their child when the move would be over 50 miles away from the current home and the parent would be relocating for more than 60 consecutive days.

For a parent to move over 50 miles away for more than 60 days, a petition for relocation must be filed with the court. In the petition, the parent seeking to relocate must include the date of the intended move as well as the proposed new mailing and physical address. The petition must be served on the other parent and the other parent has 20 days after service to file a response. If they agree with the move, there is no need for the other parent to file a response. If the other parent objects, the objection must be filed in writing with the court.

If the other parent fails to respond to service of the petition, the court can grant your petition and then you are free to move with your child. If the other parent files a written response, your move must be placed on hold. You have to wait for a hearing to be scheduled. You must attend the hearing and the court will decide whether or not you will be allowed to move.

If the other parent agrees to the move up front, then there would be no need to file the relocation petition. Instead, you and the other parent would need to sign a written agreement stating that the other parent consents to your move. Beyond that, the written agreement should address any changes that would be necessary to the child custody arrangement. The best practice is to go ahead and submit a new custody agreement and file the new agreement with the court.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Are you or your child’s other parent looking to relocate? If so, talk to the team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou about how this could impact your custody arrangements and how to proceed from here. Contact us today.

Andrew Nickolaou

Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.