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Can I move away with my child?

If you are the custodial parent that means you are probably the primary decision-maker when it comes to your child. Even so, you will still need to let the court and the other parent know if you plan to move more than 50 miles away with your child.

A new law was enacted by Florida lawmakers in 2008 that requires custodial parents to file a notice of relocation with the court, and serve the notice on the other parent, if they plan to move more than 50 miles away from where they currently live with their child. 

The non-custodial parent then has the opportunity to challenge the move. In order to challenge the relocation, the other parent must: 1) respond within 30 days of being served the notice, 2) in writing, 3) by filing the response with the court, and 4) serving the response on the custodial parent.

After the non-custodial parent has successfully challenged the relocation, the custodial parent must prove that the relocation is in the best interests of the child. If the custodial parent convinces the court that the move is in the best interests of the child, then the non-custodial parent has the opportunity to try to prove why the move is not in the child’s best interests.

The family law judge presiding over the case issues the final decision if the parents cannot agree on a new visitation and time sharing plan.

The law also includes a number of other responsibilities and rights on behalf of the custodial and non-custodial parents involving the relocation and the subsequent visitation schedule.

As you can see, there is often much more to the process than simply telling the other parent that you are moving. Planning in advance with the help of an experienced family law attorney encourages the likelihood of the process going smoothly and in your favor.

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