Out of State Custody – Parent Relocations

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Relocation on Monday, August 18, 2014.

When a parent moves more than 50 miles from their residence with a child, we call it a child custody. If both parents agree, an agreement must be entered. But if a parent objects, a judge must decide before a parent can move away.

I’ve spoken on this topic earlier this year, and the issue frequently comes up at the start of a new school year. Relocations are governed a Florida Statute. Before passage of the law, parents frequently moved the child to a different city or out of state without consent.

Under the relocation statute, parents have to agree or a judge will have to determine whether to allow a parent’s request to move the child. Whatever is in the best interest of the child is considered paramount.

Deciding whether to permit the move-away of a parent is complicated. In order to decide the best interests of the child, there are no presumptions in favor or against a relocation under Florida law.

Instead, the court must consider statutory factors such as:

  • The child’s relationship with the parents,
  • The age of the child,
  • The quality of post-move contact,
  • The child’s wants,
  • Will the move enhance the quality of life
  • Reasons for relocating,
  • Economic circumstances,
  • Is the request made in good faith, and
  • Is there a history of abuse.

Relocation cases are governed by a very technical statute, with deadlines and requirements that are specifically stated and enforced. Mistakes are commonly made by the inexperienced, which can be devastating to your case. Both parents are well served by a lot of preparation and sound legal advice.

The relocation statute is available here.