It’s unlikely that you nor your co-parent will keep the same residence forever. They may receive a job opportunity or another reason that requires moving more than 50 miles from a current residence. Florida considers your co-parent moving more than 50 miles away from their current residence as a relocation.
Having a parenting agreement means that your co-parent cannot simply pack up their things and relocate. You have certain rights to time with your child and there are proper channels that they must follow with respect to the parenting time agreement.
Ways to reach an agreement
There are two common ways to reach an agreement on relocation. The first way is the simplest where you and your co-parent sign an agreement that says you both consent to the relocation and defines the new arrangements for you as the non-relocating parent. This can include a new visitation schedule and transportation schedule as well.
Another way is for your co-parent to file a petition to relocate with the court and have you served with that order. The petition must include several things including:
- Their new address with the state and city of their new home.
- The reasons and date for the new relocation.
- Any updated contact information, including phone number or mailing address if it differs from the physical address.
The petition must include a proposal for a new visitation schedule after the move is complete. Without this component, a court can render their petition legally insufficient. By not following the proper procedures, a court may find your co-parent in contempt of court which carries legal consequences.
A court may order additional provisions for the relocation including using different forms of technology to ensure meaningful communication between you and your child and allocating transportation costs between parents.
Courts will encourage fairness with their decision
Florida law tries to make the relocation of one parent fair to the non-custodial parent. Just because your co-parent has received an exciting new opportunity doesn’t mean that you have less of a right to time with your child. There are proper legal procedures for relocating that your co-parent must follow. There are numerous ways for a court to ease the strain a longer distance relationship with your child can cause, including use of technology and helping with transportation costs.