Can your ex just move away with your kids after your divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2021 | Divorce

Complications frequently arise in shared custody arrangements. It is common for parents to have time-sharing arrangements and to share decision-making as well, which can lead to conflict. For example, you and your ex may disagree about whether your middle schooler struggling with academic performance should join a recreational soccer team. Disagreements about special events and expenses are common.

However, sometimes co-parents have to sort out serious issues that could impact the lives of parents and the children. A possible relocation is one of the biggest potential disruptions for a shared custody arrangement in Florida.

The farther away your ex wants to move, the greater the chance that their relocation will impact your time-sharing arrangements. Can your ex relocate and effectively cut you out of the children’s daily lives?

You don’t have to agree to their relocation plans

Florida law protects the rights of both parents in a shared custody scenario. Your time-sharing rights and the best interest of the children don’t simply disappear because your ex wants a new job or to move in with their new love interest.

Typically, any move that will be more than 50 miles away from where the children currently live will require formal approval. Your ex will have to present you with paperwork notifying you of the move. You then have the option of objecting to the move in writing. That will trigger court intervention.

A judge will listen to both sides of the situation to determine if the move is necessary and if relocation would be in the best interests of the children. In some cases, they may allow the relocation, requiring that you renegotiate your time-sharing arrangements. Other times, they might decide it would be better for the children to stay in a place they know and give you more parenting time so that your ex can relocate without the kids.

In most cases, one parent doesn’t have total control

A parenting plan with time-sharing arrangements requires court review to make big changes. Neither you nor your ex can make unilateral decisions that would affect the children and limit the access of the other parent.

Understanding the basics of shared custody rules in Florida can help you protect the relationship with your children if your ex wants to relocate.