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Clearwater Divorce Lawyer (Based on 36 Reviews)
727-683-1472 801 West Bay Drive, Suite 713
Largo, FL 33770
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Complications That Could Arise as a Result of Long-Distance Parental Relocation


In Florida, having continuing and meaningful contact with both parents is deemed to be in a child’s best interests, so any time-sharing arrangements entered into as part of a divorce must reflect that principle. A relocation by one parent can, however, make this more complicated, especially if the planned move is to another state. While it’s possible to obtain permission for such a relocation, parents should be aware that complications with a long-distance parenting plan can arise and in some cases, may require court intervention.

Florida’s Parental Relocation Law 

In Florida, a co-parent who wishes to relocate with his or her child somewhere more than 50 miles away from a current residence will need to obtain permission from the court, which will then assess a number of factors before deciding to grant approval, including:

  • The reasons for the relocation;
  • The nature of the child’s relationship with each parent;
  • The child’s age and developmental status;
  • The likely impact of the relocation on the child;
  • The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating parent and the child;
  • Whether the relocation will improve the financial circumstances of the relocating parent; and
  • Whether the relocation will enhance the quality of life for the child and relocating parent.

These factors, when applied, help courts balance the benefits of a relocation against the strain that a long-distance relationship can cause for a non-relocating parent and his or her child.

Potential Complications of a Long-Distance Parental Relocation 

While relocating can be beneficial for a parent and even for the child in question, there are also some very real complications that can arise when co-parents live further than 50 miles from each other. For instance, the logistics and cost of travel means that children and non-relocating parents will probably see each other less often and that the latter won’t always be present at important events, like school plays, parent-teacher conferences, sporting events, and even holidays. This type of distance can cause alienation from the non-relocating parent, which in turn can cause emotional and psychological harm to the child.

Fortunately, there are methods of communication that can help lessen some of these negative effects. Video and phone calls and messaging apps, for instance, can help keep non-relocating parents in the loop when it comes to their children, although it cannot take the place of personal and close contact. It may also be necessary to come up with a new time-sharing arrangement that allows for the child to spend greater amounts of time with the non-relocating parent in a single visit. Some children in long-distance time-sharing arrangements, for instance, spend a month out of every summer with the non-custodial parent, as well as every other major holiday.

Our Clearwater Relocation Lawyers Can Help

Whether you are seeking a long-distance relocation or opposing it, you should be aware of some of the complications that could arise if you enter into a long-distance parenting plan after divorce. At Cairns Law, our experienced Clearwater relocation attorneys can help prepare you for these challenges and come up with a solution that is in your family’s best interests. Call us at 727-683-1472 or contact us online to set up a consultation today.




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