Can I Stop My Former Spouse From Moving With Our Child?
For separated parents, one of the leading sources of conflict is proposed relocations. While a proposed relocation across town or to a community a few miles away may not be a big deal, your former partner trying to move your kids to the other side of the state or the other side of the country is an entirely different story.
When it comes to a proposed relocation with the children, parents have important legal rights. This raises an important question: can you actually prevent your former partner from moving away with your children? As our Clearwater child relocation attorney explains, the answer is ‘yes’, but only in certain circumstances.
Parental Relocation in Florida: Understanding the ‘50 Mile’ Rule
Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 61.13), courts must resolve child custody and child visitation cases by considering what is best for the child. Family courts strongly favor a situation in which both parents can remain an active part of their child’s life and courts tend to favor stability. One of the effects of Florida law: long-distance relocations may be prevented if there is already a custody or visitation order in place.
Florida has a parental relocation law on the books (Florida Statutes § 61.13001). You may hear this statute referred to as the state’s ‘50 mile rule’. In essence, this law prevents parents from relocating more than 50 miles away from their current location with a child who is subject to a Florida court order unless they obtain approval.
If a parent in this position wants to relocate their child more than 50 miles away — of course, this usually means that they will be moving the child significantly further away from the other parent — they must obtain a written agreement from the affected parent or they must actively petition the court and prove that the move is in the child’s best interests. Otherwise, Florida law is likely to block the relocation.
How to Protect Your Parental Rights
If your former partner is considering moving your child more than 50 miles away, they may ask you to sign off on the arrangement or they may simply try to petition the court directly for approval. In this circumstance, you should be prepared to seek professional legal support to protect your parental rights.
In some cases, you may want to work with your former partner to negotiate a new custody and visitation agreement that permits the relocation but also puts in place a structure that better protects your interests. In other cases, you may want to take aggressive action to challenge the proposed relocation in court. Your Clearwater child relocation attorney will be able to review the specific nature of your situation and help you take the appropriate action.
Do You Need Legal Help?
At the Law Office of Gale H. Moore P.A., we have the skills and experience required to handle parental relocation cases. If your former partner is preparing to move away with your child, we are here to help. To schedule an immediate consultation, please call us now at 727-584-2528. With an office in Largo, we represent parents in Clearwater and throughout the wider region.