Contempt of Court and Relocation

In Milton v. Milton, the Mother took the parties minor child and relocated to New York without agreement of the parties or permission of the Court. The First District Court of Appeals found that Ms. Milton did not follow the requirements set forth in the Florida Statutes for relocation. Section 61.13001(3)(a) unambiguously requires that, absent agreement of both parents, a parent wishing to relocate file a petition and the petition be served on the other parent. Only where the relocating parent files a proper petition may the court order temporary relocation pending final determination. In this case, there was no such agreement or petition. And, Mrs. Milton does not contest that she and the child relocated to New York. Accordingly, subject to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child.

The Florida Statutes concerning relocation are strictly construed and a parent who relocates without written agreement or court order subjects themselves to harsh penalties, including an order directing the immediate return of the minor child. If you are considering relocating with a minor child, it is best that you contact your expert family law attorney to discuss the legal requirements for relocation well ahead of the date you intend to move.