If you share custody of a child with another parent, some of your personal freedoms may be limited. Specifically, if you want to move to a new city or state far enough away from your co-parent to make an existing custody arrangement untenable, you need to seek court approval before you can actually move. This is a process that can be especially complicated if your co-parent does not cooperate with you in completing it.

Assistance from a Coral Gables relocation lawyer could be crucial for anyone who finds themselves on either side of a conflict like this. Whether you want to preserve your future plans for relocating or you want to prevent such a move from occurring, a skilled family attorney could help you proactively pursue your preferred outcome.

Relocating with the Other Parent’s Consent

Florida Statutes §61.13001 is the section of state law that specifically addresses and sets out rules for the process of one party moving to a new area. According to the definition established under this statute, a “relocation” requires court approval if it involves the relocating party moving at least 50 miles away from the residence they maintained when a custody order was implemented. A court order is also needed if the relocation will last for at least 60 consecutive days, is for pursuing higher education, or for seeking specialized healthcare for the child the order concerns.

If both parents who are subject to a custody order consent to the relocating parent’s plans, they may establish their consent by signing an agreement. This agreement defines the adjustment to an existing custody or visitation plan, and it details what transportation arrangements are necessary to facilitate that change. A Coral Gables relocation attorney could provide crucial assistance in drafting and filing such an order. Unless one party specifically requests an evidentiary hearing within ten days of submitting the agreement, the court may ratify the agreement without requiring anyone to appear. This is as long as the terms still serve the child in question’s best interests.

Petitioning for a Court to Approve Changing Addresses in Florida

If the non-relocating parent does not consent to their co-parent’s proposed move, the parent wishing to relocate must draft a petition for relocation. After drafting it, they must submit it to the court and serve a copy to the non-consenting party. Under state law, this petition must include all the following information:

  • Where the relocating party would move to, including the names of the city and state, a physical address, a mailing address, and a home phone number;
  • The date of the intended move;
  • A statement explaining the reasons for relocation, including an attached copy of a job offer if applicable;
  • A proposal for how an existing custody and visitation arrangement could be altered to account for changing addresses;
  • Instructions for how the non-consenting parent may formally respond and object to the petition, which must happen within 20 days of service.

Relocating without court approval may result in serious legal repercussions, including contempt of court orders and possible arrest. An accomplished attorney in Coral Gables could provide further clarification about how each step of changing addresses with joint custody works during an initial consultation.

Consider Working with a Coral Gables Relocation Attorney Today

Complying with the various regulations on relocation as a parent with joint custody can be a uniquely challenging and high-stakes endeavor. Any substantial delay in this process could seriously impact your future plans, and a violation of applicable laws may result in you being arrested and even sentenced to jail time.

Simply put, seeking help from a Coral Gables relocation lawyer could be crucial to protecting your best interests in this kind of situation. Call our office today for a free consultation.