Relocating Post-Divorce: What You Need to Know

Relocating Post-Divorce: What You Need to Know

Posted By R. Gregory Colvin LLC || 21-Mar-2017

Many people want nothing more than to move on with their lives after a divorce—sometimes literally. If the couple lived together, then at least one-half of the split pair would be moving to a new location. Some may view this as an opportunity to start anew with a fresh home, a new job, and an unfamiliar city. However, before you decide to uproot and take yourself into different territory, there are a few things to consider.

If you had children with your ex-partner, chances are you also share custody. If you are the custodial parent, you can’t just relocate with the children without consulting your ex, and the court, beforehand. The first thing you can do is to check your divorce or child custody decree for any restrictions on either parent’s ability to move the child beyond a specified geographic limit. Travel restrictions are very common, and they are usually discussed during the divorce proceedings.

Travel can also be restricted by state law. In Florida, if a parent is relocating more than 50 miles from his or her current residence for at least 60 days, both parents must sign a written agreement that spells out the terms of the move and new custody arrangements. The agreement should:

  • Demonstrate that both parents agree to the relocation
  • Show a time-sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent
  • State how the parents will handle the transportation for visitation periods

If both parents agree, they can file the signed agreement with the court without needing a formal hearing. However, if one parent doesn’t agree, the relocating parent must submit a petition to relocate with the court and serve it on the other parent. The non-relocating parent then has 20 days to file a response. Without a response, the court will automatically grant the petition to the relocating parent. If a response is filed, the court must then make a decision regarding the pros and cons of relocating the child. The court will take into consideration some of the following:

  • The child’s relationship with the relocating and non-relocating parent
  • The child’s age and current needs
  • The impact on development
  • If either parent has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence
  • Whether the relocation will improve the lives of the parent and child
  • The child’s preference

The court may even decide that custodial rights should pass to the non-relocating parent, as it might benefit the child to stay in the location where most of his or her friends and family reside.

If you and your ex can’t agree on the relocation, you will need the assistance of an excellent Orlando family law attorney. Our firm has more than 25 years of trusted legal experience. Let us help you negotiate with your ex or represent you in court. Contact us at (407) 603-3460 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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