The only thing common to all divorces is that life goes on and circumstances change. Whether the divorce was friendly or bitter, custodial parents may find that they need to move with the child. Therefore, existing legal agreements must be modified.
The Consequences of a Move to the Noncustodial Parent
Relocating to another state with a child at some point after the divorce can result in a major dispute with the noncustodial parent. Their current visitation rights will effectively be canceled and new visitation agreements must be approved by the court.
Notification to the Noncustodial Parent
Florida law states that the custodial parent must notify the other parent about any moves farther away than 50 miles and for more than 60 days.
If the Noncustodial Parent Agrees to the Move
An agreement including the noncustodial parent’s consent must be filed with the court and approved before the move. It must include proposed changes in visitation, including travel arrangements for the child. Grandparents or others with legal visitation rights must also approve.
If the Noncustodial Parent Fights the Move
The issue will go before the court where a judge will determine if the move is in the interests of the child. The judge may not approve the relocation.
The custodial parent must file a petition including:
* Details of the new location
* The proposed date of the move
* The reason for the move; if the move is job-related, a copy of the job offer must be included
* Details of proposed visitation changes
* A notice to the noncustodial parent detailing how to object to the petition and the consequences if they do nothing
Some of the Factors that the Court Will Consider
* Will the move be traumatic to the child? The court may take the feelings of the child into consideration.
* How much time does the child spend currently with the noncustodial parent?
* Will other family members be left behind?
* How will the move improve the life of the child?
* Why does the noncustodial parent object to the move?
* Does the custodial parent want to move because of a history of abuse?
* What modifications are needed regarding child support?
The legal firm of Rohe Twyman focuses on family law, including modifications to divorce and custody agreements. This team of experienced attorneys serves those in central Florida, with offices in Lake County and Orange County.