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Relocation and child custody can be a tricky thing

Change is a part of life. There is no way around it. When a change of circumstances occurs, you just have to do all that you can to make the best of it. For some parents in Florida and elsewhere, sometimes change means the need to relocate. If you are dealing with a child custody order, relocation can be a tricky thing.

If you share children with a former spouse or partner, relocation means possibly having to get court approval before you move -- if the move takes you more than 50 miles from your current location. This may seem like a hassle, but its intent is to protect the rights of both parents. Its intent is also to help preserve parent-child relationships.

What does a custodial parent have to do if he or she needs to relocate?

Parents who are primary custody holders may not think they need approval to relocate with their children, but this is not the case -- especially if the other parent has some level of joint custody or visitation rights. They do need to inform the other parent of the intent to move. Parents can

then try to work out new custody arrangements through private negotiations. If this fails to produce desirable results, however, a custody order modification can be sought in court.

Before a court will grant a modification request based on the need or desire to relocate, you will have to provide some key information, such as:

  • The reason for the move
  • The distance of the move
  • A proposed visitation schedule

At the end of the day, the other parent may have objections to your potential relocation. However, having a detailed plan in place can help one achieve court approval.

What happens if the other parent objects to the relocation?

Non-custodial parents or parents who share joint custody do have the right to make their objections known. In order to do so, you must file your petition with the court within 20 days of a submission of a relocation request. Failing to file such a petition can result in the court allowing the relocation, unless it is found to not be in the affected child's best interests.

There are various reasons as to why parents in Florida may need to or want to relocate, such as for employment purposes, a new relationship or support -- among numerous others. You have to do what you feel is best for your family. Unfortunately, you may have to go to court before making your move if child custody concerns exist. An experienced family law attorney

can assist you in taking the actions necessary to seek a custody modification for the purpose of relocating.

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