Wrongfully relocating with a child has consequences

A previous post on this blog discussed the ways in which a child's custodial parent in Florida can relocate with the child. Relocation can either be done with the consent of the noncustodial parent, or can be done through an order of the court, if appropriate.

Unfortunately, some custodial parents will act rashly and try to relocate with their child without going through the proper channels. Sometimes this is done when the custodial parent has animosity towards their ex, feels the existing child custody schedule is unfair or thinks their child will be better off not seeing the noncustodial parent. However, custodial parents should keep in mind that there are serious consequences for relocating with their child without the noncustodial parent's consent or a court order.

Under Florida law, if a parent relocates with their child without obtaining the noncustodial parent's consent or a court order, the parent will be held in contempt of court. Proceedings will be held to order the noncustodial parent to return the child. And, the court may modify the existing parenting plan, taking into account the custodial parent's wrongful relocation. This means that if a custodial parent wrongfully absconds with the child, not only will they have to return the child, but their parenting plan could be modified in a way that gives them less time with their child.

As this shows, if a parent wrongfully relocates with their child, this move can backfire leading to a change in their child custody order that could give the noncustodial parent more time with the child, or even transfer custody of the child to the noncustodial parent altogether. Therefore, it is important for any parent who wishes to relocate with their child to make sure they do so within the confines of the law.

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