Preserving stability is often the first goal parents set when they divorce or separate while sharing children. Keeping the children on the same schedule and enrolled at the same school can make it easier for them to connect with support during this challenging transition.
However, as the dust settles after the initial change, people eventually start thinking about how to better support themselves and develop a happy and healthy future. New living arrangements and new employment, as well as new relationships, are often part of a brighter future.
Wanting to move to a new home with the children is natural, but parents who already have time-sharing arrangements outlined in a Florida parenting plan may worry that they cannot move without violating their custody order. Are there restrictions on parental relocations when Florida parents share time with their children in separate households?
The law and parenting plans may limit someone’s options
Most couples discussing how to share responsibility for their children will include rules about both travel and relocation in their parenting plans. However, even if Florida parents don’t add special terms of their own, state law will typically apply to major changes for their family.
In Florida, parents may need to obtain permission from the other parent or the courts if they intend to move a significant distance from their current location. Under state law, any move that will take the children more than 50 miles away from their current residence would be enough to trigger approval requirements.
The parent hoping to move would need to send information to their co-parent and to the courts. When the co-parents agreed to adjust the parenting plan to allow the move, it can be a relatively quick process to pursue an uncontested modification that updates the parenting plan to reflect the new address. When the other parent disagrees because they worry that the increased distance will impact their relationship with the children, the case may need to go to court.
A family law judge can hear both sides of the situation and then determine what would be in the best interests of the children. Adults who present their case with a focus on the needs of the kids will often have an easier time achieving success.
Learning more about child custody laws, modifications and relocation requests can make navigating changing family circumstances a bit less challenging for Florida co-parents. Similarly, seeking legal guidance can allow for greater clarity and the ability to make truly informed decisions about specific challenges.