After you get a divorce, you may want to move away. But it is not as simple as packing your bags and taking your child with you. There are specific laws regarding relocation in Florida that you must follow.

In relocation cases, judges consider both the right of the custodial parent to move for a legitimate reason and the right of the non-relocating parent to maintain consistent contact with the child. Here are some important facts to know if you wish to relocate with your child after the divorce.

What counts as a relocation?

Florida law considers a parent moving at least 50 miles away from his or her current residence for at least 60 days to be a relocation. It is important to note that temporary changes due to education, vacation or medical care do not count as relocation.

Do I need the other parent to agree?

You and the other parent can come to your own agreement by signing a document that spells out the details of the relocation and any new custody arrangements. This document must address the following issues:

  • The agreement of both parents
  • How parents will manage transportation for visitation
  • A time-sharing schedule for the parent not relocating

If you are able to see eye-to-eye with your ex, you can both submit the signed agreement to the court.

What happens if my ex does not want me to move?

Your ex may not be fond of the idea of you moving far away with your child. If this is the case, you need to file a relocation petition with the court and provide it to your ex. This petition must contain:

  • The legitimate reason for moving, such as a job offer
  • The address of the place where you want to move
  • The proposed date of the move
  • The proposed transportation plan
  • The proposed visitation schedule

The other parent has 20 days to respond to the notice of the petition. If she or he does not respond within this timeframe, the judge may grant the request without holding a hearing. You should never relocate without court approval.