What You Need to Know About Florida’s Relocation Laws

If you are a single parent living in Florida, you may want to move to another city or state for a job opportunity, to be closer to family, or for any number of other reasons. Before you make any set plans, however, you need to consider your legal obligations regarding your child. Specifically, the rights of the other parent, who will be directly impacted should you move away with their child. The laws governing relocation in these situations are found in Florida Statutes §61.13001. This blog offers a summary of what you need to know.

What Is Considered a Relocation?

From the point of view of the courts, a relocation is any time you move at least 50 miles from the residence listed in your current court order. You must be moving to a new residence and staying there for at least 60 consecutive days, not including things like vacations and other temporary absences.

Relocations without Objection

If the other parent does not have any objection to your relocating with their child, you will simply need to get them to sign a written agreement. This agreement has to include consent to the move, detailed information related to how parenting time and scheduling will take place, and any applicable transportation arrangements. Once that is signed, it will need to be filed with the courts. No hearing is necessary unless one of the parent’s objects. While the courts can still reject the relocation if it is believed that this will not be in the best interests of the child, rejections of mutually agreed upon relocations are rare.

What If the Other Parent Does Not Approve?

In many cases, the other parent won’t approve of this relocation because it will mean that they are unable to see their child as much as before. When this is the case, the parent who is looking to relocate needs to file a petition with the courts, and that petition has to be served to the other parent. This petition needs to include information such as the intended new address (if known), the date of the proposed move, specific reasons for the move, a proposal for a revised parenting time schedule, and other pertinent information.

Once the other parent receives this petition, they will have 20 days to respond with their objection. If they object, a court date for a hearing will be scheduled. In court, each parent will have the opportunity to explain why the child should, or should not, be relocated. The courts will then make a decision on whether the child can be taken to the new home.

Don’t Face this Alone

Whether you are looking to relocate, or you want to prevent your child from being relocated, you never want to go through this alone. Having an experienced family law attorney at your side will give you the best possible chance at winning your case. Contact The Law Office of Ray Garcia to schedule a consultation right away so we can get to work protecting your parental rights.