I Want to Relocate With My Child – Can I?
Sheryl A. Moore, Esquire
Moore Rabinowitz Law
1776 North Pine Island Road, Suite 102
Plantation, FL 33322
Florida Statute §61.13001 controls whether or not a parent may relocate with a child. Relocation is defined as: a change in the location of the principal residence of a parent or other person from his or her principal place of residence at the time of the last order establishing (or modifying) time-sharing, or at the time of filing the pending action to establish (or modify) timesharing. For a case to fall within the Relocation statute, the new location must be more than 50 miles from a principal residence, and also be for at least 60 consecutive days not including a few allowed temporary absences.
If the parties of the child agree to the relocation, the parents must sign an agreement which: 1) reflects the mutual consent to the relocation, 2) defines the new and revised time-sharing schedule, and 3) addresses the transportation arrangements. If parties do agree to the relocation, the agreement should be filed with a court and you should ask the Judge to review it and ratify it. The agreement must be in the best interests of the child.
If, however, relocation is not agreed upon, then the party wishing to relocate will have to file a Petition to Relocate and serve the other party with a lawsuit. The Petition must be signed after taking an oath and must include multiple factual allegations. In that instance, you may not relocate with your child without a court order allowing you to do so.
From a parent’s perspective, relocation litigation can be very stressful and extremely emotional because a Judge will either grant or deny the requested relief. Relocation cases receive priority on a Judge’s docket. Therefore, if you wish to relocate, or if you are opposing a relocation, the dispute should be resolved relatively quickly.