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What are the laws for moving with kids after a Florida divorce?

Whether to make a fresh start, pursue a career opportunity, be closer to family or any other number of reasons, it is common for people to want to relocate after a divorce. There can be much more to the process for Florida parents than just finding a new residence and packing up their belongings, however. Generally, parents of minor aged children who have time-sharing agreements in Florida are subject to specific rules regarding relocations.

The procedures that parents in Florida must follow when they wish to relocate are outlined in the Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes. Under the statute, parents must have the courts’ approval in order to move 50 miles or more when they have time-sharing agreements for their children. In general, this approval is obtained either by filing a petition for relocation or through an agreement with the consent of both parents.

When both parents are not able to agree to a move, the process can be complicated, but it is still possible to obtain court approval to relocate. In these cases, the parents who wish to move must file petitions for relocation with the courts, and have it served to the other parents. The other parents have 30 days to legally object to the relocation. If they do not make a formal objection through the court, judges generally will determine there is no evidence to say the move is not in the children’s best interests and will approve the relocations. A hearing is held to decide the issue when the other parents choose to formally object to the petitions, during which a number of factors are taken into consideration, including the reason for the move and how it will affect the child-parent relationship of the non-custodial parent.

If both parents, as well as anyone else who has visitation rights for the child, are able to reach an agreement on their own regarding the move, they can simply draw up a relocation agreement and send it to the court. In most cases, these agreements are approved. These agreements should include any changes that will be made to the current visitation schedule as a result of the move, as well as the transportation arrangements for keeping to the newly proposed agreement.

This article should be considered general information and not be taken as professional legal counsel.

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