If you do not live with your child’s other parent, chances are you may need permission to move out of the State (or even County) you live in. For legal purposes, the act of moving 50 miles away from your current address with the minor/dependent child is called relocation.
What is Relocation?
Florida Statute defines relocation as a change in the principal residence of a parent or other person of at least 50 miles, and for at least 60 consecutive days not including temporary absences for vacation, education, or health care. See Florida Statute §61.13001.
How can I relocate with my child?
Relocation by Agreement:
A parent may relocate with the minor child with the consent of the non-relocating parent.
If the parents and “every other person entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child agree” regarding the relocation, they may sign a written agreement that:
- Reflects the consent to the relocation;
- Defines an access or time-sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent and any other persons who are entitled to access or timesharing; and
- Describes, if necessary, any transportation arrangements related to access or time-sharing.
See Florida Statute §61.13001(2)(a).
If the parents have a case that establishes a schedule for the child, the parents must obtain a Court Order accepting the agreement. See Florida Statute §61.13001(2)(b). If this is the case, the agreement allowing the relocation must be filed with the Court.
An evidentiary hearing is not required unless one of the parties requests a hearing within ten (10) days after the agreement is filed with the Court. If no request for a hearing is made, it is presumed that the relocation is in the child’s best interest and the court may ratify the agreement without an evidentiary hearing.
Court Order Granting your (Request) Petition to Relocate:
If you cannot obtain an agreement on relocation, you can request the Court to allow you to legally move with the your child by filing a petition to relocate. See Florida Statute §61.13001(3). If your petition to relocate is granted, the Judge will enter an order allowing you to move with your child.
The petition to relocate must contain the following information and be signed under oath:
- A description of the location of the intended new residence, including the state, city, and specific physical address, if known.
- The mailing address of the intended new residence, if not the same as the physical address, if known.
- The home telephone number of the intended new residence, if known.
- The date of the intended move or proposed relocation.
- A detailed statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation. If one of the reasons is based upon a job offer that has been reduced to writing, the written job offer must be attached to the petition.
- A proposal for the revised post-relocation schedule of timesharingtogether with a proposal for the post-relocation transportation arrangements necessary to effectuate time sharing with the child. Absent the existence of a current, valid order abating, terminating, or restricting access or time-sharing or other good cause predating the petition, failure to comply with this provision renders the petition to relocate legally insufficient.
- Substantially the following statement, in all capital letters and in the same size type, or larger, as the type in the remainder of the notice:
A RESPONSE TO THE PETITION OBJECTING TO RELOCATION MUST BE MADE IN WRITING, FILED WITH THE COURT, AND SERVED ON THE PARENT OR OTHER PERSON SEEKING TO RELOCATE WITHIN 20 DAYS AFTER SERVICE OF THIS PETITION TO RELOCATE. IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY OBJECT TO THE RELOCATION, THE RELOCATION WILL BE ALLOWED, UNLESS IT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD, WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE AND WITHOUT A HEARING.
See Florida Statute §61.13001(3)(a).
Florida law requires the petition to relocate to be properly served on the other parent and on every other person entitled to access to and timesharing with the child. If no response to the petition is filed within twenty (20) days, it is “presumed that the relocation is in the best interest of the child” and the relocation will be allowed.
In addition to the information provided above, the Court will consider several other statutory factors when making a decision on whether to grant or deny a petition to relocate. Each case is different. There are certain factors that may be applicable (or not) to your case. This is why we stress the importance of speaking with an attorney if you decide to relocate with your child.
It is just as important to speak with an attorney regarding your rights to object if the other parent wishes to relocate with your minor child.
Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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