A new job, relocation and your child custody agreement
You may have mixed feelings about your job offer. On the one hand, it is a great opportunity. On the other, it means moving from Florida to Georgia, which will affect your 10-year-old daughter, Emily.
Due to the proposed relocation, you will have to petition the court for child custody agreement modification. Will the judge approve your request?
The Florida statute
Chapter 61, Section 13001 of the 2019 Florida statutes addresses parent relocation that requires child custody agreement modification. It defines relocation as a change in the principal residence of a parent who is at least 50 miles from the original residence. The parent must live in this residence for at least 60 consecutive days.
When both parents agree
If both parents agree to the proposed relocation, they must sign and present a written agreement for the court. The document must reflect mutual consent, define the new plan for how the non-relocating parent shares time with Emily and explain the transportation arrangements about timesharing. If the parents are in accord, there will be no need for an evidentiary hearing.
When there is a disagreement
If the other parent objects to your relocation, you must file a petition about the intended relocation and serve it to your former spouse. The petition must include the date of the move and relocation information including city, state and residence address and phone number, if known. The court will also want a detailed statement concerning the reason for your intended move. You should include a letter from your employer confirming the job offer.
The court understands that changes occur in life and will normally approve child custody modification because of a parent’s relocation. However, in making a decision, the judge will take Emily’s best interests the priority. With legal assistance, you can prepare a petition that meets the requirements for relocation and subsequent agreement modification approval.