Relocating With Children

Florida has laws specific to the issue of relocating more than 50 miles with your minor child. This statute applies when parents have been married or when paternity has been established between unmarried parents. In these scenarios either both parents must agree to the relocation or the parent wishing to relocate must obtain a court order.

If both parents agree to the relocation, this agreement should be put into writing, filed with the court and ratified by a judge, so that it becomes a court order. A short hearing is required. This process should take about 10 to 14 days. The agreement must contain certain information and should be prepared by an attorney whenever possible.

If There Are Disagreements, The Process May Take Time

If the parents are not in agreement, a petition for relocation must be filed by the parent wishing to relocate and the court must have a full hearing on the matter where evidence must be presented that the relocation is in the best interest of the children. The parent who is not in agreement will be able to provide evidence and argument as to why the relocation should not be allowed. This process can take several months. There are a number of factors the court will consider under the law, such as:

  • The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating 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
  • 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 nonrelocating parent, other persons, siblings, half-siblings and other significant persons in the child's life
  • The child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child
  • That the relocation is sought in good faith and the extent to which the objecting parent has fulfilled his or her financial obligations to the parent or other person seeking relocation, including child support, spousal support, and marital property and marital debt obligations

Under no circumstances can parents who have been married or who have previously been awarded a timesharing schedule relocate without a court order or agreement.

Contact Us With Your Questions

The attorneys at Family Matters Law Group, P.A., handle relocation cases frequently and are available for a free phone consultation about your options and rights. Relocation is a very fact-specific determination and should not be considered without the advice of an attorney. Call us today at 866-593-0459 or email us about your situation.