Parental Relocation

Divorce (Contested and Uncontested)

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Parental Relocation

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Typically in Florida, when a parent wishes to move away or relocate with his or her minor child to a new residence 50 miles or more away from the current residence, they must follow strict guidelines. The relocating parent must provide advance notice of the intent to relocate to the other parent. the non-relocating parent has a right to agree or contest the parental relocation. If the non-relocating parent contests the relocation, and notifies the Court, the relocating parent must obtain the Court’s permission in order to relocate.

If the parents are not in agreement on the relocation of the minor child, the Court may hold a preliminary hearing and issue a temporary order. The Court may grant or deny the relocation on a temporary basis until a final hearing can be held by the Court.

Florida relocation matters are specifically governed by Section 61.13001, Florida Statutes.

This Section states that “If a parent attempts to relocate with a child and fails to comply with section 61.13001(3) of the Florida Statutes regarding the petition to relocate, such parent may be subject to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child, and such non-compliance may be taken into account by the court in a subsequent determination or modification of the parenting plan, access, or the time-sharing schedule.” Depending on the circumstances a hasty decision can have lasting consequences.

Parental relocation inevitably interferes with any court approved visitation arrangements, child custody or time sharing. Therefore any contested parental relocation proposal will need to be approved by the court. If you are responding to a proposed move you generally have to do so quickly. Relocation hearings are given precedent by statute as they are required to take priority in scheduling. If you object to the move, or if you are a parent seeking to relocate with your child seeking legal advice is important to preserve your rights.

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