Can My Former Spouse Move With My Child?
There are many reasons why a person may wish to move away following a divorce; however, the issue of relocation can become complicated when there is a child involved. Florida law has strict rules regarding relocation, and whether you wish to move or have been informed of a move by your former spouse, our experienced Boca Raton family law attorneys at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg are here to help walk you through your legal options. To learn more, call or contact our office to schedule a consultation.
What Constitutes a Relocation?
A relocation is defined under Florida law as any permanent move from one residence to another that is at least fifty miles away. A move is considered permanent if it lasts for more than sixty days. Temporary moves and vacation stays are not considered a relocation, nor is it considered a relocation if a parent moves with a child for their medical care or education. Any permanent move within fifty miles is also not considered a relocation, and therefore does not need approval from the courts. Relocation laws only apply when there is a child under eighteen years old that is moving with the parent.
When is a Relocation Allowed?
A relocation can be allowed in two ways: the first method is through approval by both parents. Any agreement must be in writing and signed by both parents. It must also contain specific information regarding the location of the new residence, an amended timesharing agreement between the parents, and details on how transportation will work for the child between the parents’ homes. If agreed by the parents, the relocation can be ratified by the courts.
The second method for relocation is through a petition to the court by the parent who wishes to move when the other parent does not approve. The parent wishing to relocate must submit additional information, including:
- The address of the new residence,
- The date of the move,
- The reasons for relocation,
- A proposed timesharing schedule, and
- A proposed plan for transportation
If the other parent contests the petition within twenty days it goes to a full hearing. The response from the other parent should include reasons why they do not want to allow the relocation and information about how much they are a part of their child’s life. At the hearing, the judge will hear from each side and make a determination on whether to allow the move based on what is in the best interests of the child. If a parent relocates with a child without the court’s permission, they can be found in contempt of court, ordered to pay attorneys’ fees, and may even modify the existing child custody agreement between the parents. To learn more, talk to our office today.
Call or Contact Our Office
Do you have more questions about relocating with a child outside of the Boca Raton area? If so, the experienced family law attorneys at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case now.