Can one parent move away with their children after the divorce?

Setting the terms for a Florida divorce can be quite a challenge. Especially when there are children in the mix, the adults in the family might have a difficult time agreeing on how to share parental rights and responsibilities. Florida divorces with minor children typically result in a parenting plan that gives each of the parents a certain amount of time-sharing with the children. Parents can negotiate their own terms or ask a judge to create a parenting plan that prioritizes the best interests of their children.

Typically, parents must comply with an established parenting plan or risk enforcement actions in family court. Still, a parenting plan may not continue to meet a family’s needs indefinitely. Any changes to family circumstances after establishing the order could change how parents share time with their children after the divorce. Can one of the adults in the family decide to move somewhere far enough away to impact the time-sharing rights of the other adults?

Relocations require advance notice

Relocations or move-away requests can have a major impact on the time-sharing arrangement for a family. There are many reasons why one parent might move away from their current residence. New romantic relationships, job offers and proximity to family are all reasons why people might decide to move despite how the relocation could affect time-sharing agreements.

The adult proposing the move typically has an obligation to provide advance notice to the other parent and the Florida family courts. If the move would take someone out of Florida or is more than 50 miles away from someone’s current residence, they likely need to request pre-approval for the move.

Sometimes, the other parent agrees that the move could be beneficial for the children. They could cooperate and sign an agreement to modify the existing parenting plan. If the other parent opposes the move, then the matter may need to go to family court. The parent hoping to move might need to convince the court that the move would be in the best interests of the children. If they succeed in doing so, then the judge might modify the existing parenting plan to improve the access of the other parent after the move.

Understanding the restrictions on move-away scenarios, and seeking legal guidance when necessary, may help people preserve their parental rights after a Florida divorce.

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