Long, Murphy & Zung, P.A.

How out-of-state moves are handled by family law judges

Family law judges rule on making decisions that are supposed to be in the best interest of the child. From a judge's perspective, though, moving away, whether from your child's other parent, his or her family or his or her friends, might be ideal for you, it might not be ideal for your child's well-being.

What's more, moving away has the potential to restrict the amount of time that a child can spend with his or her other parent. Barring some extenuating circumstances, most child psychologists argue that spending time with both parents ensures your child's proper development.

If you're considering moving elsewhere, you'll first want to check your shared parenting plan to see if the two of you addressed the issue of relocation in it. If you did, then it's more likely than not that it contains the conditions you'll have to meet in order to relocate, specifically in terms of how many days notice you might have to give to do so.

While you might have a job lined up and feel the need to move before that, you risk being ruled against on future custody requests if you don't follow the rules stated in the parenting plan.

If you find, however, that your parenting plan doesn't reference relocation, then you should defer to the Florida child custody laws surrounding the matter. Most likely, even if you're the custodial parent, you'll still need to get written permission from the noncustodial parent before you move.

In the case of a contested relocation request, you'll likely be called into court to address the issue in front of a judge. During that hearing, you'll be asked to justify how the move will positively impact your child and even be asked if your intention is to alienate your child from their other parent.

You'll also need to express your willingness to allow your child spend longer periods of time with their other parent and acknowledge that you'll be responsible for covering transportation back and forth between parents.

Even if you are the primary custodial parent of your child, moving away with your child is much less of a right and more so a privilege. If you'd like to gain a better understanding as to your prospects for being allowed to relocate to another city, state or country with your child, a Naples custody litigation attorney can provide more information.

Source: The Spruce, "Custodial parent moving out of state," Jennifer Wolf, accessed Sep. 29, 2017

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