Visitation Rights in Florida: Can My Former Spouse Leave the State of Florida With My Child?

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In a majority of Florida visitation cases, stopping the relocation of a custodial parent is difficult. After a divorce, determining paternity, or separating, relocating or moving with a child is not as easy as hiring a moving van. In Florida, there is a relocation statute requiring the relocating parent to inform the other parent of his or her intention to relocate and file that notice with the courts.
Once notice is provided, the parent that is not relocating has the option to file an objection to the move, with the court. Once that objection is filed, the judge must have a hearing to determine if the move will be permitted.
At the hearing, the parent that is relocating must show the court that the move is in the child’s best interest and that it will not infringe on the non-relocating parent’s visitation and relationship with the minor child. Also, there has to be a showing that the parties are able to afford travel expenses involved in continuing that visitation.
The courts want to preserve the non-relocating parent’s relationship with the minor child and if the relocation would significantly diminish that relationship then the courts may be more apt to preserve the visitation rather than allow the relocation.

Written by: Whitney R. Lonker
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.