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Can the Court Control My Relocation as a Separated Parent?

Absent specific legal issues (such as probation or parole), adults in the United States should be able to live where they wish to. Adults move regularly, often relocating to a new state, or even across the country. While adults should have this freedom, it is not this simple for parents who are separated.

If you and your child’s other parent are living separately, you might want to start over in a new city, with a new job and new surroundings. However, it is critical to recognize that if you want to continue time-sharing with your children, this might be a difficult situation, and the court might restrict you from relocating with your children.

Time-Sharing While Separated

Your divorce judgment should include a time-sharing order, which dictates when your child will physically spend time with each parent. A temporary time-sharing order often goes into effect upon your separation to allow separated parents to both see their children. This temporary order might be incorporated into the final divorce judgment, or parents or the judge might decide to make adjustments for the final time-sharing order. Either way, separated parents are often subject to court orders when it comes to sharing custody of their children, which means the court can have a say in the actions of the parents.

Parental Relocation in Florida

Florida law specifically addresses a parent’s right to relocate with their child. The law restricts one parent from moving over 50 miles from the other parent without one of the following:

  • Agreement from the other parent
  • Permission from the family court

In some situations, parents might agree that it is best for the child to relocate, and they can adapt their time-sharing schedule appropriately. This should always be put in a written agreement drafted by an attorney, who can also advise you whether you are within your rights to relocate. The agreement should include the consent of both parents to the relocation, as well as the new time-sharing arrangement.

If the other parent is against your relocation, the situation becomes more complicated. You will need to petition the court for a relocation order, and the other parent can respond to the petition challenging the relocation. In order for the court to approve the relocation of a separated parent with their child, the parent must provide the specific reasons for the relocation, such as proof of a job offer. The court will then determine whether the relocation is in the best interests of the child. If the court denies the petition, you will not be able to simply move away with your child.

Discuss Your Concerns with Our Brandon Family Law Attorneys

Following relocation procedures is critical if you are separated, as moving without proper court permission can result in serious legal issues. At the law firm of Carman & Bevington, P.A., we help clients who are wanting to relocate, as well as those who wish to oppose the relocation of their child. Contact us online or call 813-305-0213 to learn how we can help.