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Requirements for parents relocating with a child

Divorced Florida parents sometimes decide to move to a new location in order to get a fresh start. However, there are certain requirements that a custodial parent must meet before relocating with a child, especially if the new location is out of state.

The custodial parent will likely need to provide the court with what may be called a "good faith" reason for the relocation. Such a reason may become even more important if the move will disrupt the child's daily routine, remove them from their current school or disrupt their emotional or social stability. Acceptable reasons often can include a new job offer, moving closer to family members and if the cost of living is better. However, it should be noted that the court may take the noncustodial parent's wishes into consideration.

Additionally, the relocating parent will be required to give a notice that they intend to move prior to actually relocating. If the parent wishes to take the child with them, they may then be required to obtain consent from the other parent. If the other parent does express consent, it is likely that an agreement involving a visitation schedule will need to be reached.

There are a number of factors that a court takes into consideration in each child relocation case. One of the major factors is if the move is in the best interest of the child, especially if the child and the noncustodial parent have a relationship. If the court decides that the custodial parent can relocate with the child, a family law attorney may assist the noncustodial parent in working out a visitation plan that allows the child and that parent to continue to have a relationship.

Source: Findlaw, "Child Custody Relocation Laws", December 17, 2014

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