Do unmarried parents have to inform when moving with their child?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Unmarried Couples |

In Florida, parental relocation with a child involves specific rules and regulations. This is true for parents who never got married.

Understanding these requirements is important to avoid legal issues and ensure the best interests of the child.

Legal custody and parental rights

When it comes to unmarried parents, the mother automatically has legal custody of the child at birth. The father must establish paternity to gain legal rights. After the father establishes paternity, both parents can share parental responsibility. It includes the right to participate in major decisions affecting the child’s life. This shared responsibility extends to decisions about relocation.

Relocation definition and requirements

In Florida, relocation means moving more than 50 miles from the current residence for at least 60 consecutive days. This definition excludes temporary absences for vacation, education or medical care. When considering such a move, the relocating parent must follow specific procedures to inform the other parent.

Notifying the other parent

Florida law requires the relocating parent to provide written notice to the other parent. It must include several key pieces of information:

  • The address of the new residence
  • The telephone number of the new residence, if available
  • The date of the intended move
  • The specific reasons for the move
  • A proposal for a revised time-sharing schedule

The non-relocating parent has the right to object to the proposed move. If this happens, the court will consider several factors to determine whether the move is in the child’s best interest. The factors include the reasons for the move, child’s relationship with both parents and the impact of the move on the child’s development. The court’s primary goal is to ensure that the child maintains a meaningful relationship with both parents, even after the relocation.

Providing proper notice and considering the child’s best interests are necessary for a smooth transition and maintaining parental rights.

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