New job, relocation and child custody agreement modification

Many times, the changes that happen in your life have a domino effect on the lives of others.

One example is a job offer that requires relocation but is too good to refuse. This, in turn, affects your child and the other parent and requires a modification to your child custody agreement.

The issue at hand

The child custody order that has been in place since your divorce has worked well. Your 9-year-old son has adapted to the new way of life, and you ensure that he has sufficient visitation time with the other parent. However, your promotion at work involves a relocation of 98 miles. As the custodial parent, you plan to take your son with you.

How will the other parent react? And what will the court require in order to approve the necessary change to your existing child custody agreement?

The custody considerations

Under Florida law, a plan to relocate a child more than 50 miles away from his or her current residence requires the permission of the court.

Upon reviewing your petition, a judge will consider a number of factors, including the age of the child, the availability of an equivalent education in the new location and whether the move will provide him with sufficient opportunities for leisure pursuits, such as forming new friendships. The court will consider the distance involved in the move and how you will handle travel arrangements for child-parent visitation purposes.

The way forward

You must first inform the other parent of the relocation opportunity. Any objections would require time in court for you to defend your plans and for the other parent to prove why relocation would not be good for your son.

Be ready to show the benefits of the move, including information about the new neighborhood and school, and your willingness to increase your son’s vacation or holiday visits with the other parent. As long as you can show that you prioritize the best interests of your son, the court will likely approve the necessary modifications to your child custody agreement.

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