Wanting a fresh start after a difficult divorce is a completely normal reaction. For some people, just the end of their marriage may be enough to make them feel renewed and empowered. For others, other changes may be necessary for them to really feel like they get to start over.
Moving to a new city or even a new state, as well as potentially returning home to a community where you have family and friendship support, could be one way for you to adjust to life after divorce. However, if you currently have custody of children that you share with your ex, a desire to relocate with the kids will become more complex than it would if you didn’t have children or shared custody.
The courts and your ex need notification before the move
Parental relocations can have a negative effect on the children because it could cut them off from visitation and parenting time with their other parent. As such, the Florida family courts expect that any parent hoping to relocate will notify the courts and the other parent. If the other parent objects, that may require scheduling a hearing to review the situation and modify the custody order.
You will need to provide the courts with documentation that you have real reasons for moving and that you have considered the best interests of your children while considering this move. Your ex will also have the opportunity to present their side of the story to the courts, and then the courts will have to make a determination and ruling about what they think will be best for the kids.
The outcome for relocation requests can range from the court granting your request and modifying the custody order accordingly, to determining that you cannot move with the kids or that if you do move, your ex will be the one who takes over primary custody of the children.
Proper documentation of your reasons for wanting to move and avoiding statements to your ex about cutting them off from the children can go a long way toward bolstering your chances of success when requesting a relocation after a divorce.