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Relocation Without a Parenting Plan: Key Considerations in Florida

Posted by LEISA WINTZ | Nov 14, 2023 | 0 Comments

The decision to move out of state with a child becomes significantly complex when there's no existing custody agreement in place. Families facing this situation often grapple with questions about their rights, legal implications, and the potential impact on the child. In this article, we'll explore key considerations, legal aspects, and strategies for a successful relocation without a parenting plan.

Deciphering Parenting Plans

Comprehending relocation and child custody in Florida is vital. A parenting plan, a legal document outlining custody terms and visitation, establishes the rights and responsibilities of each parent. Without it, both parents have equal rights to the child, posing challenges, especially when one parent wishes to move over 50 miles away with the child.

Florida law underscores the significance of even a parent's solo relocation over 50 miles, necessitating court permission. Such stringent regulations highlight the gravity with which Florida courts view relocations and their potential impact on children.

Relocation Without a Parenting Plan: Moving Out of State with a Child When There's No Custody Agreement

If you're wondering, “Can I leave the state with my child if there is no custody agreement in Florida?” the answer is not a straightforward yes or no. Without a custody order, both parents typically have equal rights to the child, making such decisions challenging and legally intricate.

Reasons a Judge May Deny Relocation

  • Impact on the Child-Parent Relationship: A judge evaluates how the move might disrupt the child's relationship with the other parent. If substantial disruption is foreseen, the judge may deny the request, emphasizing the importance of maintaining strong bonds with both parents.
  • Distance of the Move: Permission is mandated for any move over 50 miles. A reasonable distance might sway a judge's decision, but a significant distance posing challenges to the other parent's involvement may lead to denial.
  • Impact on Education: Disruption to the child's education due to the move can be a key consideration. If the move jeopardizes the child's schooling, the judge may lean towards denial.
  • Parental Motives: The motives behind the relocation request are scrutinized. If the move appears to be in bad faith, aiming to limit the other parent's access, it may be denied.
  • Child's Age and Needs: The age and needs of the child are paramount. Younger children or those with special needs might face denial if the move hampers their stability or existing therapies.

The court looks into potential disruptions in the child's relationships, emphasizing stability and continuity.

Tips for a Successful Relocation Request

  • Open Communication: Engage in open communication with the other parent. If an agreement can be reached, outlining custody and visitation terms is crucial.
  • Legal Representation: The complexity of court proceedings necessitates legal representation. An experienced family law attorney can guide you through the legal intricacies, safeguarding your interests.
  • Demonstrate Best Interests: Highlighting that the move is in the child's best interests is vital. Presenting evidence such as job offers, school enrollments, and housing arrangements supports your case.
  • Be Open to Compromise: Flexibility in negotiations is key. Being open to compromise, whether on visitation frequency or parental involvement, can enhance your case.
  • Patience is Key: Relocation cases can be time-consuming. Trusting the legal process and understanding the court's focus on the child's best interests is essential.

Navigating the legal landscape of moving out of state with your child, especially in the absence of a custody agreement, requires careful consideration and legal expertise. If you find yourself facing this complex situation, seeking the guidance of an experienced family law attorney is crucial. At Family Matters, we understand the intricacies of family law, and our dedicated team is here to provide you with the support and counsel you need. Our mission is to help you protect your rights and ensure the best outcome for you and your child. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us navigate this journey together. Your family's well-being matters to us.

About the Author


Leisa Wintz originally began her career as a marriage and family therapist. Ms. Wintz went on to attend law school and started practicing family law in 2009. However, she quickly realized that many family law practices lacked the empathy and compassion she believed were necessary in order to achi...


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