Those in the Lakeland, Florida, area, whether they are in the military, a civilian government worker or simply in private, may find themselves having to move in the upcoming year. Sometimes, this is unavoidable just because of a change in the job or even on account of orders one must follow.

At other times, there may be other good reasons for a move either to another part of the state or even outside of Florida altogether.

Parents in the Lakeland who are living separately from their child’s other parent, and thus are likely subject to a parenting plan or other Florida child custody order, are not totally prevented from moving even if the other parent objects. However, they do have to follow Florida law when relocating more than 50 miles from their current residence.

Ideally, parents will communicate with each other in advance of one parent’s move and will thus be able to come to some agreements about relocation. Sometimes, however, this is not possible.

In such cases, the parent seeking to relocate has to give appropriate advance notice according to the provisions of Florida law. A parent does so by seeking permission from the court to relocate and notifying the other parent of the request. The other parent will have the opportunity to object to the move.

If a parent does decide to object to the move within the time allotted, then the court will make a determination as to whether the move is in the child’s best interests.

Assuming the move is going to require a change in the parenting plan, the court will not favor either parent but will instead consider a number of factors in deciding whether to allow the move. Generally speaking, it is the responsibility of the parent who wishes to move to prove that doing so is in the child’s best interests.

Florida’s relocation statute can raise complicated legal questions that are likely best answered with the help of an experienced attorney.