One of the most important decisions that divorcing parents have to make is where to live after their divorce. Ideally, both parents will live close enough to each other to facilitate shared parenting time. However, there are many reasons why parents in Florida may consider relocating after a divorce. Though it is sometimes the best option, there are issues to be aware of before a decision to relocate is made.
In most states, the custodial parent will need a judge’s permission before moving any significant distance. The judge will want to know that the reason for moving is in the best interest of the child. Such reasons may include accepting a better job, living closer to family who can help with childcare or moving for a lower cost of living. Bad faith reasons might include trying to move away from an ex-spouse or moving in retaliation. If the noncustodial parent objects to the move, some states will consider their reasons but might not consider the objection if the noncustodial parent has been largely absent for a long time.
The procedures to follow vary by state, but most require that the custodial parent submit a new proposed visitation schedule that includes times and locations for visitation in the new area as well as major holidays and school vacations. The increased costs associated with the new visitation schedule may be split or may be incurred by the parent who is moving.
Regardless of where the custodial parent may move to, decisions about parenting time and child custody matters will be made in the state where the divorce was filed. There are many legal issues that can arise when deciding to move with a minor child, so parents who are considering relocation may benefit from the advice of a lawyer who has experience in family law and child custody issues.