The Ramifications of Relocating Without Permission

If you are in a contentious battle with your former spouse, or parent, over your child, and you want to relocate to another state, it may be tempting to leave without the other parent’s permission. All parents should be aware that Florida Statute 61.13001(3)(e) contains stiff penalties, including contempt of court, and ramifications for not following the proper legal procedures required to to relocate with minor children. The statute states:

Relocating the child without complying with the requirements of this subsection subjects the party in violation to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child and these noncompliant actions may be taken into account by the court in any initial or postjudgment action seeking a determination or modification of the parenting plan or the access or time-sharing schedule as:

1. A factor in making a determination regarding the relocation of a child.

2. A factor in determining whether the parenting plan or the access or time-sharing schedule should be modified.

3. A basis for ordering the temporary or permanent return of the child.

4. Sufficient cause to order the parent or other person seeking to relocate the child to pay reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees incurred by the party objecting to the relocation.

5. Sufficient cause for the award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, including interim travel expenses incident to access or time-sharing or securing the return of the child.

The risk of any of these sanctions being imposed against you is likely never worth relocating without the other parent’s permission. It is essential to hire an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the proper legal avenues to allow you to properly, and legally, relocate with minor children.