Can your ex move the children away from your military base?

Posted by Zachary A. VanDykeJun 29, 20220 Comments

In some ways, military divorces are not as complex as people expect them to be. Despite persistent myths about there being a different process for military servicemembers than civilians, anyone divorcing in Florida is subject to the same state statutes about property division and time-sharing regardless of their profession.

However, there are definitely aspects of divorce that are different or more complicated for those who serve in the military. Child custody is a perfect example. If you and your ex have lived on base together previously, you may worry about what your separation or divorce will mean for your access to your children.

Can your ex move to another city or another state with the kids now that they no longer have access to military housing facilities?

Relocations require permission

Once you have a custody order in place or a pending family court case, you typically have limitations on what you can do with the children. You can no longer move wherever you want without the consent and approval of the other parent or at least the family courts.

If your ex wants to move back to Georgia where their parents live or to take a job in Washington state, they will have to ask for your permission. If you do not consent to the move because you know it will limit your access to the children, then the matter may go to the courts.

Both of you will have a chance to present your side of the situation, and a judge will decide whether the relocation is permissible or not based on what they think would be best for the children. Local relocations do not require permission. Typically, the move needs to be out of state or at least 40 miles away from the current residence to require parental consent or court approval.

When might the courts approve the request?

For a judge to consider a move to be in a child's best interests, there have to be considerations that balance out the disruption between the child and the parent not moving. The presence of extended family members, better school systems or sometimes even better economic opportunities for the parent with more time-sharing rights will be enough to convince the court that a relocation would be good for the children.

Rather than focusing on your rights when responding to a relocation request, you will have a better opportunity of succeeding if you make your objection focus on the kids and how this move may disrupt their lives. Learning more about the unique considerations in child custody matters during military divorces will help you navigate the Florida family law system more effectively.