Can I Move Out of State with My Child?

As a divorced parent ,you are likely sharing child custody with your former spouse. However, in general, children usually live primarily with one parent and have visitation with the other. When the primary custodial parent wants to move out of state, what can be done? The answer depends on what is in your parenting plan as part of your divorce in Brevard County.

Parenting Plans and Shared Custody

You and your spouse prepared a parenting plan that was included in your Florida divorce decree. The parenting plan addresses all types of issues such as where the children reside, how visitation works, how holidays and vacations are to be spent, and more. It also likely addresses how to handle changes to the plan.

Minor changes such as the time of visitation pick-up can be easily negotiated between parents without court intervention. However, when one parent wants to make a major change, such as moving out of state, it requires a modification by the court. When you want to move with your child, you will need to obtain a modification to your child custody arrangement.

Best Interest of the Child

It is important to keep in mind that any changes to a parenting plan need to be made in the best interest of the child. A parent cannot simply choose to move without having a good reason and without making sure that the child will be better off from the move.

Sometimes a move is desired because of a job offer in another state. This might be necessary in order to keep providing for the child. Other times, the move may be because the parent wants to move closer to relatives. There are many reasons why a parent may want to move away, but the bottom line is that it has to be done with the interest of the child in the forefront.

Parental Consent

It is possible to avoid a difficult and lengthy court battle if your former spouse will agree to the move. A family law attorney will help you negotiate with the other parent in order to try to come to a satisfactory resolution. For instance, you may be willing to pay for the child to travel to visit the other parent on a scheduled basis. You might agree to allow the child to spend several weeks in the summer or spring break with the other parent. These types of offers may help to ease the situation, and the other parent may consent.

When a modification is necessary, the parent must file a request for a hearing. Both parents are required to attend the hearing and both will be allowed to present their cases either for or against the proposed move. The parent requesting the move must provide proof to the court that the move is necessary and that it is in the child’s best interest. If the child is older, the court may get input from him or her as part of the decision-making process.

If you are considering an out-of-state move, consult with our experienced attorneys to learn more about how to move forward. Contact Henderson Legal Group for an initial consultation today.


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