Joint Custody Relocating Child

by Kevin from Miami, Florida, Miami-Dade County

I have a situation where me and my son's mom have joint custody and shared parenting. At the school he is currently at we used her address. He has been going to this school for 3 years, its 3 minutes from her house and maybe 7 minutes from mine.

She is not involved with him at school and when something happens they call me.

She also works late hours and is not home to help him with his homework, but she said her other family member helps him.

We alternate weeks meaning I have him from Monday to Sunday, then she has him Monday to Sunday. We both stay in Miami Dade County, but she said she wants to move to Broward county and only wants me to see my son on Saturdays and Sundays.

I didn't agree with this and now she wants to go back to court. This is taking a major toll on my son, I don't know what to do any more.

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Kevin,

According to Florida's new child relocation law, the custodial parent does not have the right to just move more than 50 miles away from the other parent’s home without notifying both you and the court.

In fact, there are only two ways for a parent to do this.

She must either get a written agreement from all parties entitled to visitation (this could include grandparents if court ordered) with the child, or she has to file and serve a Supplemental Petition to permit relocation with minor child(ren) with the court.

Since you did not provide her with a written agreement to let her move your child, then she has to file to the supplemental petition to relocate with the court. With this child relocation form, she has to prove, in detail, why a court should allow relocation of the
child and that it is the child's "best interests".

As with any decision the court makes in terms of child custody, the move has to be in the best interest of the child before it will be allowed. Once you have been served with this petition, you have 20 days to respond. You can respond by disagreeing with the move and by requesting a hearing.

It is up to her to provide information about the proposed move, the address and intended new address, contact information at the new address, the date of the move, the stated reasons for relocation, and a proposed visitation schedule along with possible transportation arrangements.

It is important to ask for a hearing to ask the court to make a decision about the move.

And, it is up to her to prove that the move is in the best interests of the child. The court will decide if the stated reasons for moving are in the best interests of the child.

At this hearing, you will have a chance to be heard, state all the facts why a move will not be in the child's best interests and you can offer rebuttal on her reasons for moving your son. I suggest that you do not hesitate to get legal advice from a family law attorney. Explain the situation and ask about your options going forward.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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