When you share in a custody agreement with your ex-spouse (even when you have primary custody of your kids), you realize that you likely will have to involve them in major life decisions. One such decision would be potentially moving away from your current community in Florida (or outside of the state altogether).
Can your ex-spouse prevent you from moving? Will the court decide to dramatically restructure your custody arrangement? The answer to those questions depends largely on your actions leading up to your proposed relocation.
Your legal obligations prior to moving
The law requires that you notify your ex-spouse (and any other parties involved in your custody case) prior to relocating. Yet what does the law define as a “relocation?” Per Section 61.13001 of the Florida state statutes, only if you plan on changing your children’s residence to another home at least 50 miles from your current location (and you remain at the new location for at least 60 consecutive days) does the court consider you as having relocated. If that is your plan, then when notifying others of your intentions, you must include the following information:
- Where you intend to relocate to (including the state, city and physical address, if known)
- Your updated contact information
- The date you intend to move
- Your reasons for relocating
- A proposed amended custody agreement
You must also include a statement in your notice to your ex-spouse of their right to object to you relocating with the kids.
If your ex-spouse objects
Your ex-spouse may not be able to keep you from moving. Rather, if they object, the court will then consider to what extent it will need to modify your custody arrangement. This may not necessarily mean that the court will not choose to implement your proposed arrangement (particularly if it believes your ex-spouse’s objections to not be legitimate).