A Quick Guide to Child Relocation for the Moving and Non-Moving Parents in Florida
Florida’s family law courts treat relocation rather seriously. In the Sunshine State, a parent with custody who wants to move a child more than 50 miles away for over 60 days must inform the other parent and obtain consent.
If the other parent refused to give his or her consent, the relocating parent must obtain a court order before moving the child. Speak with an Orlando child relocation attorney to find out everything you want to know about moving your children in or out of state.
Family Law and Child Relocation
Under Section 61.13001 of the Florida Statutes, failure to comply with Florida’s state law when attempting to relocate with a child may trigger:
- Non-compliance proceedings against that parent;
- A court order requiring to return the child; and
- Adverse effects in subsequent determination or modification of the time-sharing schedule, parenting plan, or access.
Yes, moving away with your child without your ex-spouse’s consent or a court order is treated very seriously by Florida courts. Contact a lawyer if you are considering child relocation.
What if Both Parents Agree?
If both parents agree with the move, they need to file a written agreement to the court. The written statement must include the non-moving parent’s approval of the relocation as well as any necessary changes to the existing visitation schedule.
If anyone else has visitation rights (e.g., a grandparent), they will have to provide a written statement as well.
What if the Non-Moving Parent Disagrees?
If the moving parent cannot obtain the non-custodial parent’s approval of the move, he or she must file a petition with the court. In that case, the custodial parent will have to provide a variety of information to get the court to allow the move.
The information includes the reasons for the relocation, the specific location of the move, a proposal to modify the current time-sharing and parenting plan, and a notice informing the other parent how to object to the petition, among other things.
The non-moving parent’s failure to object to the petition will typically result in the court’s approval of the move as long as the relocation is in the child’s best interests.
How Do Florida Courts Handle Child Relocation?
If the non-custodial parent does respond to the petition, the case will proceed to a hearing or trial. Like in all other child custody cases in Florida, judges make their decisions regarding relocation based on the child’s best interests.
When making the determination regarding a parent’s move with the child, the judge will consider how the move would affect the child’s relationship with the other parent and other family members, how the relocation would affect the child’s health and development, as well as both parents’ reasons for the relocation and objecting.
Regardless of whether you are the moving parent who cannot obtain the other parent’s approval of the move or the non-custodial parent objecting to the relocation, you need a detail-oriented Orlando child custody and visitation attorney to have your arguments heard in or out of court. Contact the Donna Hung Law Group to receive a confidential consultation. Call at 407-999-0099.