Parental relocation following a divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2021 | Blog, Custody And Visitation |

A certain sense of finality accompanies any divorce case in Florida. Yet while signaling the ends of one’s marriage, should they share children with their ex-spouse, the process of managing custody between them begins. Depending on the ages of the children involved, this process may continue for several years.

One might encounter several new opportunities during that time. Among them may be the opportunity to relocate (either locally or outside of their current city or state). Such an opportunity is not inconceivable, with the website reporting that as many as 20% of survey respondents claim to have moved in 2021 (with 33% of those relocations classified as unplanned). This inevitably prompts the question of how one involved in a custody agreement may move with their kids.

Providing prior notice of relocation

Florida law requires that one wishing to relocate with their kids (with Section 61.3001 of the state’s statutes classifying a relocation as a move more than 50 miles from their current residence lasting more than 60 days) must first provide notice of their intentions to any parties interested in their custody arrangement. Among those interested parties are their ex-spouse and the family court having jurisdiction over their case. Working with one’s ex-spouse in the lead up to their move may facilitate things, as the court respects any modifications to a custody arrangement a divorced couple mutually recommends.

Meeting the burden of proof

The non-relocating spouse, however, may also choose to challenge the move and petition the court to modify their agreement to ensure they maintain consistent access to their kids. Should such a challenge arise, the burden of proof falls to the relocating spouse to show that the move is in their children’s best interests to avoid having court-mandated amendments to their custody agreements forced upon them.

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