Florida’s Relocation LawsRelocation of the residence of a parent is governed by Florida Statute 61.13001. According to the statute, relocation is defined as a change in the location of the principal residence of a parent or other person from his or her principal place of residence at the time of the last order establishing or modifying time-sharing, or at the time of filing the pending action to establish or modify time-sharing. Parental relocation occurs when custodial parent and child move at least 50 miles from their home for a minimum of 60 consecutive days, not including a temporary relocation for purposes of vacation, education, or health care services.
Parental AgreementThe parents or any other person entitled to time-sharing with the child may agree to the relocation of the child. All parties must sign a written agreement stating they consent to the relocation. The agreement must describe and outline the new time-sharing schedule, the arrangements for transporting and exchanging the child for visitation.
What if One Parent Disagrees?If the non-custodial parent refuses to agree to the relocation, they must file a response objecting to the petition for relocation. The objection should include their reasons for objection, as well as details on their current involvement in their child’s life and how the move would be detrimental to the child. Once the objection has been filed, the court may grant a temporary order preventing the custodial parent from relocating the child. If a parent moves without getting the court’s consent, a temporary order can demand the return of the child.
When you need to update your child custody order and petition for relocation, contact us for assistance.
Filing a Petition for Relocation
If an agreement is unable to be reached, the parent seeking to relocate must file a petition for relocation and serve it upon the other parent. Failure to do so could result in losing custody of your child. Your relocation petition must include:
The location of your new home, mailing address, and phone number
The date of the relocation
The reason why you want to move
Time-sharing details about how your child’s non-custodial parent and others will have access to the child after your move
If you are requesting a legal relocation because of a job offer, you must also submit a written job offer to the court along with the petition. For guidance on filing your petition, turn to our team of knowledgeable relation attorneys.
How Courts Evaluate Relocation Cases
When determining whether to grant petitions for relocation, Florida courts will consider a variety of factors, including:
The reasons each parent is seeking or opposing the relocation
The nature, quality, the extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the parent, as well as their other significant relationships
How relocation would impact the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development
The child’s preference, taking into consideration their age and maturity
If the court decides relocation is in the best interests of the child, it will then modify your child custody order accordingly.
Burden of Proof
After filing a petition to relocate your child, you will be tasked with the burden of proving — by a preponderance of evidence — that relocation is in your child’s best interests.
Get Experienced Legal Counsel
The process of relocating yourself and your child can be incredibly overwhelming. During this stressful time, turn to us at Veliz Katz Law for confident and capable representation. We’ve been representing family law clients throughout Central Florida since 1994. For a free consultation, reach out to us at our office in Maitland. We proudly serve the surrounding areas of Orlando, Kissimmee, Winter Park, and Maitland.