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Parental relocation basics

Florida parents who get divorced while their children are still minors must decide upon or have courts decide upon child custody agreements. These include details about whether or not parents will share joint custody or if one person will be the primary custodial parent while the other has stated visitation rights. It can also delineate legal custody versus physical custody. After a divorce is final, if one parent wants to move, additional steps are required.

The 2014 Florida Statutes note that any parental move more than 50 miles away is considered a formal relocation. This can only be done if one of two things happens. The first is that the other parent or any other person who has custody or visitation rights agrees to the move. This is the simplest way to get a relocation approved. If this cannot happen, the person wishing to move must file a petition to do so. This should include pertinent details about the reason for the move and as many details about the parent’s new residence as possible.

According to an article in Psychology Today, parental relocation can be hard on parent-child relationships, especially when the children are younger. Moving away from children is not recommended when they are so young that verbal communication cannot effectively happen. If a move does transpire, parents should try to get contact details such as frequency and duration of phone calls put into new parenting plans.

The best interests of the children should always be at the heart of any Florida parenting plan regardless of where the parents live relative to the children. Except in unique circumstances, these best interests include as much contact with both parents as possible. 

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