After two people divorce or legally separate from each other, it is common to want to move to a new city or state and get a fresh start. However, if you and your former spouse had children together and now share custody rights as part of the terms of your divorce, Florida law may require you to get permission from the co-parent or from a court before you can change addresses.
Even if both parents consent to the move, it can still be helpful to have a seasoned family attorney on your side who can ensure the process goes smoothly and that everyone complies with state law. If your child’s other parent does not agree with your plans, working with a Coconut Grove relocation lawyer will be important to getting a favorable court result from the petition.
When Does State Law Restrict Parental Relocation?
Florida Statutes § 61.13001 is the section of state law which addresses parental relocation following a divorce which results in both of a child’s parents being granted custody rights. This law, and the regulations and restrictions it imposes on Florida residents, only goes into effect in a specific situation: when the parent who wants to relocate intends to move 50 miles or more away from their current residence for a minimum of 60 days, under circumstances other than (1) a vacation, (2) furthering the child’s education, or (3) providing the child with healthcare.
Additionally, this law does not apply to mothers who were never married and never legally established paternity over their child. There is not yet a consensus within the state court system about whether this law applies only to parents with primary physical custody of their child, or to all parents who have any visitation or time-sharing rights with their child. During an initial consultation, a Coconut Grove relocation attorney can go into specific detail about how a person’s case may play out.
Petitioning for Relocation Without a Co-Parent’s Consent
If both parents agree to a relocation, they must indicate their consent clearly in writing, establish an updated time-sharing or visitation schedule, and outline any transportation-related needs that the new plan will bring. Unless one of the parties then requests a hearing within 10 days of submitting this agreement, the court will generally approve the agreement based on the assumption it is in the best interests of the child in question.
If one parent does not consent to a relocation, the parent seeking it must file a petition with the court detailing exactly where they plan to move to, down to the exact street address if possible. They must also state when and why they plan to move, and include a proposed adjustment to their existing time-sharing or visitation schedule. They must then serve a copy of this petition on their child’s other parent, who has 20 days to file a response and request a court hearing.
This aspect is something a relocation lawyer in Coconut Grove can help a parent navigate.
Seek Help from a Coconut Grove Relocation Attorney Today
Even if you and your co-parent are on the same page about a proposed relocation, there are still some technical requirements you may need to fulfill before that move can occur. In this situation, and in ones where your co-parent wants to contest your future plans in court, guidance from The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm can make a huge difference in securing the case resolution you want.
A Coconut Grove relocation lawyer can explain your rights, obligations, and legal options over the course of a free, private consultation. Schedule yours by calling us today.