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Do you know the 50-mile rule relative to child custody?

When you and your spouse divorced and established your child custody agreement, you could not look very far into the future. However, circumstances change, and now you have the opportunity to take a new job with more pay and better benefits. The only problem is that you will have to relocate from Orlando to Miami. This is a long distance and exceeds the 50-mile rule.

According to Florida law, you can make a move that is within 50 miles of your current residence without having to alter your child custody agreement. However, you must obtain approval from the court if your move will take you farther than that.

Obtaining court approval

There are two ways to obtain court approval for your move. If you and the other parent can agree to the relocation, all you need do is set down the agreement in writing and sign it. This document must explain how you will handle the additional transportation costs and how the two of you intend to manage time-sharing with your child. On the other hand, if your ex-spouse does not approve of the relocation opportunity, you will have to seek permission from the court in order to go ahead with the move.

Sending the Notice of Intent

If you are the custodial parent and you want your child to move with you from Orlando to Miami, you must first send a Notice of Intent to Relocate to the other parent. This must include details such as the physical address and description of your new residence, the new home telephone number if you know it and the date you plan to move. You also need to provide specific reasons for the move, along with a copy of the written job offer, if applicable, plus the revised visitation schedule and proposed transportation arrangements. 

Possible obstacles

If your ex objects to your relocation, the court may grant a temporary restraining order that would put a halt to your relocation plans for a certain period. The other parent must file any objection he or she has with the court. Your ex must serve you within 30 days following service of the Notice of Intent or the court will go ahead and allow your request to move more than 50 miles away.

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