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How does family law deal with parental relocation?

When a Florida couple has a child and is no longer together, there will be disagreements over child custody issues. However, once those are settled, another matter might arise as the custodial parent would like to relocate with the child. There could be many reasons for this decision from being closer to his or her family or for a job. The law is specific about relocation and how it can be done. Those who are facing this issue, either as a custodial parent or as the noncustodial parent must understand these laws.

Relocation means that the principal residence of the custodial parent will change from when the child custody and visitation agreement was put in place. The distance must be 50 miles from the previous residence for a minimum of 60 consecutive days. This does not include a temporary change for education, vacation or for some other reason.

If there is a relocation by agreement, it must be in writing that there is consent to the relocation. And, there is a definition to provide access or time-sharing for the parent who is not relocating. And, a description of transportation agreements to facilitate the time-sharing.

Without an agreement, there must be a petition to relocate. The following information must be provided: a description of the location where the new residence will be with all relevant information; a mailing address; the home telephone number; the date at which the move will take place; why the relocation is happening -- if it is because of a job offer, that offer must be provided in written form; a proposal to alter the time-sharing agreement based on the relocation; and a capitalized statement detailing the noncustodial parent's rights to protest the relocation.

With child custody, the best interests of the child should always come to the forefront. However, when there is a situation in which the custodial parent is seeking to relocate, it can be complicated. Having legal assistance with this difficult aspect of family law is imperative and is the first call that parents should make.

Source: Fl.us, "61.13001 Parental relocation with a child," accessed on June 27, 2017

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