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What to Know About Relocation and Child Custody

October 18, 2018

When parents get divorced, part of that divorce process involves determining child custody arrangements that are in the best interests of the child. These arrangements will include information about how the parents will split timesharing.

Shared parental responsibility is generally awarded, unless it would not be in the best interest of the child. This means that both parents would be involved in making decisions regarding the child, such as which doctor the child sees, what school the child attends, and extra curricular activities, to name a few.

Timesharing means who the child is spending time with. This is an area that is most often an area of much disagreement. Add to that the fact that if one parent has over 20% of the overnights, the child support obligation normally is reduced.

But if a parent who has full or partial physical custody of a child wishes to relocate, the entire arrangement could change. Below is some more information from an experienced divorce attorney in Miami, FL.

How do courts manage relocation with custody arrangements?

Once the divorce process has started parents are not allowed to move a child over 50 miles away without getting written approval from the other parent or by filing with the court and getting a court determination that it would be in the best interest of the child to relocate. There is a specific statute that covers relocation. Moving a minor child without permission and against the wishes of the non-custodial parent could result in major consequences to the parent moving.

Parents can agree to a relocation. If both parents agree the child will move, and can come to terms on a custody arrangement taking that new location into account while still providing the non-custodial parent enough time with the child, those parents can spend much less time in the courtroom.

If the parents don’t agree on the relocation, they can hire a mediator or an attorney who can help them come to a resolution that will work. But if this process fails, the relocating parent will need to file a petition asking the court to grant the relocation request.

Every state has different factors its courts will consider in relocation arguments, but in every case, the courts will consider the benefits of the move and whether or not they outweigh how much the non-custodial parent’s visitation will be disrupted or obstructed.

Most importantly, though, courts want to make sure that such a move will be in the best interests of the child. A big question is whether the move stands to improve the child’s quality of life due to such factors as a new job with increased income for the parent, a new educational opportunity, closer proximity to the custodial parent’s family or a new marriage.

If you have any questions about how relocation works with child custody arrangements and how best to proceed if you are looking at moving out of state with your child, contact an experienced divorce attorney in Miami, FL at the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler. Our legal team looks forward to working with you.

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