If you are a divorced parent and plan to relocate 50 miles or more away from your current residence, your former spouse must agree in writing or the courts must give you permission. If your ex adamantly opposes the relocation, which will limit the together time spent with the child, litigation is often fierce and emotional. It is wise to work with a trusted family lawyer in this instance.
There is a process that must be followed according to Florida law, and taking the child and leaving the state will land you in trouble with the Judge. You can be held in contempt or be required to return the child, pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees, or even lose custody. Whether you have primary custody and want to move for a better job or you do not want to lose the time you share if your child moves away, a Coral Way relocation lawyer can ensure your differences will be settled lawfully.
Relocation According to Florida Law
The Judge must enter an order defining how divorcing parents will engage in timesharing with their child before one parent can ask to relocate. Relocation may involve moving out of state but the legal definition, found in Florida Statute 61.13001(e), is that any move of 50 miles or more for at least 60 days must be approved by the court. There are exceptions for vacations, to provide healthcare for the child, or for educational reasons.
Parents Can Agree to the Relocation
Because there is a Timesharing Order in place, even a parent who does not have primary custody must seek consent or the court’s permission to relocate.
According to Fla. Stat. 61.13001(2)(a), parents that agree to the relocation must sign a written agreement and file it with the court, although the Judge can ratify it without a hearing if the parents do not request one. The agreement must specify the new timesharing arrangement the parents have agreed to. A concerned party should talk to a Coral Way relocation attorney to properly draft a Consent to Relocation Agreement.
Court Order When Parents Do Not Agree to Relocation
If parents cannot agree on a relocation and timesharing arrangement, the parent planning to relocate must file a Petition to Relocate and obtain a court order permitting the move. The petition is then served upon the dissenting parent and anyone else sharing time with the child. The petition must contain specific information, including:
- The physical and mailing address and phone number, if known, of the new residence;
- The intended moving date;
- A detailed explanation for the move with any supporting documentation, such as a written job offer;
- A proposal for new timesharing arrangements, including the transportation method to get the child to the other parent.
The objecting parent has 20 days to respond to the petition with facts and reasons why the child should not be permitted to relocate. If no response is filed, the relocating parent’s petition will be granted. If an objection is filed, the court will schedule an evidentiary hearing within 90 days. Because the process is complex and contentious, a Coral Way relocation attorney should be involved.
Get Representation From a Coral Way Relocation Attorney Today
You may have a terrific job offer in another state or plan to marry and relocate, but you have to follow court procedure if you have a custody or visitation order in place. Your ex must agree to the move and you must inform the court or it must grant permission to relocate after you file a Petition to Relocate.
If your former spouse agrees, The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm can draft the agreement you need to file with the court. If they object, we can draft and file your petition. When you are a parent who disagrees with relocating your child, we can also take care of the objection you must file within 20 days. A Coral Way relocation lawyer can solve your timesharing problems practically and legally – call us for a free case evaluation.