It’s a divorced parent’s worst nightmare – your ex-spouse wants to relocate and take your children with them. How will that affect your visitation schedule?
What happens if you refuse to give your ex consent to relocate? Are they still allowed to move?
The relocation process
When it comes to relocating with children in Florida, the law defines relocation as a parent moving 50 miles or more from the current residence for at least 60 days.
The parent wanting to move must submit a Notice of Intended Relocation to any involved court administrators or parties. This notice notifies all involved individuals, including the non-relocating parent, who will have twenty days from receiving the notification to object to the relocation before a judge approves it. If the other parent doesn’t respond within twenty days, the judge will determine the move is in the child’s best interest and give their approval.
If the other parent objects to the relocation, the court will consider many factors when deciding whether or not to grant permission for the move. These factors may include:
- The relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent
- The age and developmental stage of the child
- The reasons for the move
- How the move will affect the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent
In Florida, the consequences of violating relocation laws are severe. If a parent moves more than 50 miles away from their residence for more than 60 consecutive days without notifying the other parent or obtaining their consent, they can be held in contempt of court and face fines or even jail time. Additionally, if the move is made without the other parent’s consent, it may be considered an illegal relocation and could result in a modification of custody orders.
If you are worried that your ex-spouse may move with your children, it’s imperative that you discuss your concerns with someone who can ensure that your rights are protected throughout this process.