Navigating Child Relocation after Divorce in Florida

When children are involved, divorce complicates relationships; it does not end them. This complexity is evident when considering relocation, especially if you’re co-parenting. Can you move to another state with the children for reasons such as a better job? Can you take them on an out-of-state vacation? Child relocation after divorce in Florida can spark conflicts between parents.

Understanding the Child Custody Agreement:

Child custody agreements prioritize children’s best interests. This document will detail any restrictions on traveling out-of-state with your child as per your agreement.

Each agreement caters to individual situations, no two are identical. Not all agreements restrict out-of-state travels with children.

Navigating Out-of-State Travels Post-Divorce:

Florida laws don’t restrict child relocation after divorce. Some states, however, limit a co-parent’s ability to take children out of state for their safety. Some parents have moved states during divorce proceedings to gain leverage.

Permanent Child Relocation Considerations:

The custody agreement should address permanent out-of-state child relocation. In absence of this, some state laws may restrict such moves without the co-parent’s consent. The non-custodial parent can object, and the court will consider several factors centered around the child’s best interest.

A parent may relocate with the minor child with the consent of the non-relocating parent.

If the parents and “every other person entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child agree” regarding the relocation, they may sign a written agreement that:

  1. Reflects the consent to the relocation;
  2. Defines an access or time-sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent and any other persons who are entitled to access or timesharing; and
  3. Describes, if necessary, any transportation arrangements related to access or time-sharing.

See Florida Statute §61.13001(2)(a).

Communicating with the Non-Custodial Parent:

Even without explicit restrictions, you should inform the non-custodial parent about an out-of-state move. This ensures the child’s best interest is prioritized.

Procedures for Out-of-State Child Relocation:

In Florida, relocation refers to a move 50 or more miles away for no less than 60 consecutive days. However, this excludes vacations.

The first step is discussing relocation with the other parent. If agreed, a court petition might not be necessary. However, in most cases, the custodial parent will file a Petition to Relocate with a Child.

Distance Considerations:

Relocation is defined as moving more than 50 miles for over 60 consecutive days. If this is the case, the relocating parent must convince the court that both parents agree on the move, the revised child custody schedule, and the child’s transportation during scheduled visits.


Even for a good reason, moving a child away from the non-custodial parent is a critical decision. If you plan to relocate with a child, it is crucial to review the child custody agreement and relevant state laws.

The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.

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