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Overview of Florida’s “Parental relocation with a child” statute

Like other states, Florida has a law which parents subject to a Florida court’s custody or parenting time orders will need to follow.

The law prevents parents from making surprise long-distance moves with their children or, for that matter, moves which are arbitrary or seem designed to spite the other parent.

In Florida, what counts as a long-distance move isn’t really that long-distance. Specifically, a parent must follow the relocation law if he or she intends to move 50 miles or more from his or her current home.

The law allows for temporary moves, of less than 60 days, as well as more indefinite relocations for things like seeking medical care for a child.

The relocation law requires that parents either agree to the relocation or that the parent seeking to move receive permission from the court which entered the original child custody and time-sharing orders.

If the parents do agree to the move, then they will need to file an amended parenting plan and their agreement with the court.

Otherwise, the parent wanting to move has to follow several procedural steps prior to appearing before the judge to seek permission to move.  For example, the parent will have to notify the other parent with detailed plans about the proposed move and will have to give the other parent a chance to object.

At a hearing, the parenting wanting to move will have to show that the move is in the child’s best interest. The judge will consider a number of factors when deciding whether or not the move is in the best interest of the children involved.

Relocation hearings can be very important for people living in the greater Lakeland area, as being denied permission to move can mean they have to choose between being with their child and pursuing other important family opportunities.

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