Winter Park, FL asked in Child Custody for Florida

Q: Once my son turns 18, can he move wherever he wants even though he has one more year in High School?

Currently living in Florida. My ex-wife has custody of my 17-year-old son. I have him every other weekend and for several weeks in the summer. With his mother’s permission, this summer I am taking him to Washington State to build a house. I will be getting married and moving there. Before he is due to return, he will turn 18 years old. He has already expressed his desire to remain in Washington and finish his last year in High School there. Does his mother have anything legally that she can do? Do I need to do anything with the court before I go?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Vanessa Vasquez de Lara
Vanessa Vasquez de Lara
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Miami, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Once your son turns 18 the court can no longer make a custody determination as he is an adult who can choose where to live.

Good luck.

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Your question raises two points. Yes, your son is emancipated at 18 and can move; however, if you have a child support obligation that goes until high school graduation then you would be legally obligated to continue to pay unless you return to court and ask for a modification. There is also the issue of shared parental responsibility regarding school. Whatever you do you should clearly communicate everything directly to the mother. Do not try to hide anything.

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