In a perfect world, your custody order would last forever. Whether you arrive at your custody order through an agreement or courtroom litigation, once you have a final order in place, you probably feel a sense of relief that the custody process is over.
However, over time, circumstances may change, and your current custody order may no longer work.
One of the biggest changes involves one parent wanting to move. There are many valid reasons for moving, such as a career opportunity or to be closer to other family.
So, what happens to your custody order if one of you needs to move? The first thing to consider is how far away the planned move is and how long it is for.
Under Florida law, you only need the court or other parent’s permission to move with your child if your move is over 50 miles away from your home, and if you are going to be gone for more than 60 consecutive days.
Filing a relocation petition
If your move is more than 50 miles away and you plan to be gone for more than 60 days, you must file a petition for relocation with the court. Your petition must include your proposed new mailing and physical addresses, your new telephone number, if applicable, and the date you intend to move.
You must serve the relocation petition to the other parent. They have 20 days after service to respond if they object. Their response must be in writing and filed with the court. They cannot just tell you they don’t agree with the move.
You can move if there is no response to your petition
If the other parent does not respond in time, the court grants your petition, and you can move. You cannot move if they file a written response.
You must wait for the court to schedule a hearing, attend the hearing and let the court decide if you can move. A custody attorney can provide advice on your situation and the chances of your petition being granted.
You can move if the other parent agrees
The other parent may agree with your move. In this case, while you do not have to file a petition for relocation, both of you must sign a written agreement stating that the other parent consents to the move.
Your written agreement should also include any necessary changes to your custody or transportation schedule. Ideally, you should draft a new custody agreement and file it with the court.