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How does relocation affect child custody agreements?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Child Support |

Relocation can throw a monkey wrench into an otherwise stable child timesharing arrangement. When a parent decides to move, it can disrupt established parenting schedules. As such, it’s important to know what to expect and how to respond to avoid legal trouble.

Implications of relocation on custody

When a parent wishes to relocate, the non-relocating parent may challenge the move, fearing it will harm their relationship with the child. The court examines several factors before approving or denying the move, which include but are not limited to:

  • The reason for the move
  • The child’s age
  • The potential impact on the child’s wellbeing

The court’s main priority is maintaining the existing timesharing arrangement as much as feasibly possible.  The Court will often require a revised visitation plan that ensures that both parent continue to uphold a meaningful relationship with the child. This could mean extended visitations during holidays and summer vacations.

The court will also determine whether or not the move would improve the child’s quality of life. Will they have access to better educational opportunities and better living conditions? What toll will the move take on their emotional and social health?

Ultimately, the parent requesting to relocate must demonstrate that the move serves the child’s best interest.

Florida laws on relocation

Florida law has specific statutes governing parental relocation. Under Florida Statute 61.13001, a parent who wishes to relocate more than 50 miles from their current residence for at least 60 consecutive days must obtain either the consent of the other parent or court approval.

If you are considering a move, it is important to become familiar with these laws to avoid legal penalties and ensure the well-being of your child(ren).


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