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What is the 50-mile rule in Florida divorce law?

In the state of Florida, we have a divorce law informally known as the "50-mile rule." It is formally known as the Relocation Statute, and it prevents the custodial parent of a child from moving over 50 miles away from their current residence if a Florida court order has been put in place regarding his or her children.

Still, the 50-mile rule is not set in stone forever. Parents can bypass the Relocation Statute by obtaining a court order to allow a change of residence to over 50 miles away, or be getting consent from both parents of the children. In the event that a divorce order is in place, however, failing to gain permission before moving could jeopardize a parent's claim to custody and cause serious problems in family law court.

Again, the 50-mile rule will only apply if a court order regarding the children has been put into place. If the divorce filing was recently made and a court order has yet to be made, a parent could potentially relocate out of state. However, the Florida court system will still have jurisdiction over the parent's children for as many as six months following the move. This scenario falls under the jurisdiction of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act.

Single Florida parents who want to move after a divorce order being issued will definitely want to discuss the matter with the other parent. If the other parent is not in agreement with the arrangements -- and even if the parent does agree -- parents may want to discuss their situations with a family law attorney to ensure that the move is done in strict accordance with the law.

Source: Patch, "The Infamous 50 Mile Rule," accessed Nov. 02, 2016

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