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Can I move my child out of state after my divorce?

As a divorced Florida parent, you should know the law regarding post-divorce relocations with your child(ren). Section 61.13001 of the Florida Statutes provides that you must obtain court permission to move more than 50 miles from your current residence. Therefore, for instance, if you get a promotion at work that requires you to move to another state, you will need to petition the court for permission to do so.

Noncustodial parent notification

How difficult you will find it to obtain court permission depends on the extent to which your former spouse cooperates with your intended move. You should contact him or her as soon as you find out about it. Be sure to explain to him or her how your proposed relocation will benefit your child(ren) as well as you. If (s)he goes along with it, the two of you can sign a written agreement to present to the court for approval. It should include the following:

  • A statement by the noncustodial parent that (s)he consents to your move
  • A new revised visitation schedule
  • The agreed to transportation arrangements for the child(ren) that support the visitation schedule

Petition to relocate

If you cannot obtain your former spouse’s consent to your proposed move, then you will have to file a petition to relocate with the court. It should include the following:

  • Your new address, including street address (if you know it), city and state where you and your child(ren) will live
  • The mailing address of your new residence if it is different from the physical address
  • Your new telephone number if you know it
  • The date on which you plan to move
  • The reason(s) why you and your child(ren) need to move
  • Your proposed visitation schedule for after your move

Be aware that you must serve a copy of your petition to relocate on your child(ren)’s other parent. (S)he will then have 20 days in which to file his or her objections to your move with the court and why (s)he objects. Should (s)he fail to file such objections, the court likely will assume that your proposed relocation is in the best interests of your child(ren) and grant your petition.

If, however, your child(ren)’s other parent files objections to your proposed relocation, then you and (s)he will go to court where each of you will be required to present evidence to back up your respective positions. After hearing all such evidence, the judge will decide whether or not to grant your petition for relocation.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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Schipani and Norman, P.A.
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