When parties divorce, they branch off to lead separate lives. A remarriage, job change or other opportunity could trigger the need for one party to move away from the other spouse.
But when kids are involved, and there's a time sharing arrangement with divorced parents, what happens then?
In general terms, a parent who wishes to relocate out of state and has an existing child custody agreement in place with an ex-spouse simply cannot make the decision to simply pick up and move. There are certain stipulations and procedures that must be followed first.
In the state of Florida, any party with an existing time sharing arrangement who wishes to move more than 50 miles away from his or her principal residence for more than 60 consecutive days must ask the court for permission by filing a petition to relocate.
The court will examine the existing agreement in place and whether the relocating parent wishes to bring the child to the new location. The judge will also look at other factors before making a final determination such as:
- The motives behind the move
- The potential impact the move will have on the relationship between the nonmoving parent and child
- The move's impact on the child's present education and personal life
- The age and maturity of the child who can convey his or her wishes regarding the move
It's important for any parent wishing to relocate to go through the proper avenues to get relocation approval before taking any action.
Seeking the help of a family law attorney with knowledge in this area who can provide a greater overview of the law and potential impacts to individual situations is also advised.