Florida law defines relocation as a parent moving 50 miles of more from the current residence for at least 60 days or more. It must be a permanent move rather than a vacation. In Florida you may relocate either by agreement or by filing a petition to relocate asking permission from the court to relocate.
If the parents and the other person entitled to access to or timesharing with the child agree to the relocation of the child, they may satisfy the requirements by signing a written agreement that reflects consent to the relocation. That agreement must define an access or timesharing schedule for the non-relocating parent and describe any transportation arrangements related to access or timesharing.
If you are unable to reach an agreement with the other parent, then you must petition the court to relocate by filing a petition to relocate. The petition to relocate must comply with Florida Statute and, among other things, must include the following 5 items;
- A description of the location of the intended new residence, including the state, city, and specific physical address, if known.
- The home telephone number of the intended new residence, if known.
- The date of the intended move or proposed relocation.
- A detailed statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation. If one of the reasons is based upon a job offer that has been reduced to writing, the written job offer must be attached to the petition.
- A proposal for the revised post-relocation schedule for access and timesharing together with a proposal for the post-relocation transportation arrangements necessary to effectuate timesharing with the child.
After filing the petition to relocate and affording the other side to file a response which includes an objection, the court will hear the merits of the motion and consider many factors before deciding on the relocation. The 5 most common items considered by the court are:
- The nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the parent or other person proposing to relocate with the child and with the non-relocating parent, other persons, siblings, half-siblings, and other significant persons in the child’s life.
- The age and developmental stage of the child, the needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child.
- The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating parent or other person and the child through substitute arrangements that take into consideration the logistics of contact, access, and time-sharing, as well as the financial circumstances of the parties; whether those factors are sufficient to foster a continuing meaningful relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent or other person.
- Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for both the parent or other person seeking the relocation and the child, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefits or educational opportunities.
- The career and other opportunities available to the objecting parent or other person if the relocation occurs.
Please be mindful that relocating with a minor child without an agreement or an order on a petition to relocate subjects the party in violation to contempt and other proceedings to return the child.
If you are considering a post-divorce move and share children with a former spouse, Robert Sparks Attorneys is available to review your case and options, and discuss how you can protect your rights while minimizing any exposure to potential pitfalls. Call or contact us online to speak with a lawyer.