Parents who are considering divorce often have many concerns about how they will share time with their children. The decisions of one parent can sometimes have profound consequences for the other parent and their kids.
A relocation is a prime example. If one parent intends to move to a different residence after negotiating a parenting plan, will they be able to move far away or leave the state of Florida?
Relocations typically require approval
When one parent intends to move a significant distance from the other, that would absolutely affect the time-sharing arrangements for the parents. It would require a longer drive before each custody exchange and might make regular visits completely unrealistic. Parenting plans often include rules that talk about relocations. If they do not, then Florida state law will dictate what happens next.
The parent intending to move will typically have to provide formal written notice both to the other parent and to the family courts. If the parents agree that the move would be beneficial for the children, then they can move forward with an uncontested modification request that mainly requires court approval, not the decision-making authority of a judge.
If the parents do not agree about the necessity of the move or whether it would be beneficial for the children, then they will have to present the issue to a judge. As in any significant custody dispute, what matters the most to a judge in a relocation hearing will be what would be best for the children. If they believe that the damage caused by reducing one parent’s access would be more significant than any benefits derived from the move, they may not give the parent permission to relocate with the children.
Family court is always unpredictable
Even when parents believe they have strong evidence supporting their claim, the judge may see the situation differently. Those who are unfamiliar with state law or who try to present their argument themselves may put themselves at a disadvantage by letting their emotions or misconceptions influence how they speak in front of the judge.
Learning more about the rules that apply to child custody matters in Florida with the assistance of a legal professional, including modifications related to a move-away situation, can benefit those who currently share custody of their minor children with someone else.