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Child Relocation Before and After Divorce

Commonly, one or both of the parties after a separation may wish to leave the area and start anew.  Unfortunately, if kids are involved, it’s not that easy. If a parent wants to relocate more than 50 miles away after a divorce or child custody case has been opened, you must have permission to leave.

Legality of Relocation

There are three ways scenarios in which you can legally relocate under Florida Law:

  1. Your prior settlement agreement addressed the issue of relocating

  1. You get the non-relocating parent to state in writing that it’s acceptable for you to leave, and adopt an appropriately modified parenting plan and time-sharing agreement

  1. You go to court to argue your case

Prior Settlement Agreement Reached

Denmon & Denmon divorce attorneys suggest that the party requesting a relocation address the issue as part of the divorce or the paternity settlement agreement. Common in military divorces, both parties agree to allow the relocation and provide a contingent parenting plan to address the new geographical constraints.

Stipulation: Both Parties Agree to the Relocation

Your attorney can negotiate an agreement or stipulation between the parties to allow the relocation. The court will approve these stipulations provided they pass legal muster and they provide an alternative timesharing plan to protect the best interests of the child.

Go To Court

When court is the only option, a divorce lawyer will file a motion for child relocation. This motion must state with particularity where you intend to move and the new address and phone number if known. There must also be specific facts that support why moving is in the best interest of the child.  When your family law attorney serves this motion on the other spouse, he or she has 20 days to object.  If the spouse does not object, then the Judge will sign an order allowing the move without a formal hearing.

If they do object, then the Judge will set a hearing. Testimonies will be taken and evidence will be presented to support a parent’s case, including evidence supported by a witness. This is delegated as a mini-trial where the burden is on the relocating party to prove that the relocation is in the best interests of the child.