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Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller, P.A
 
Am I allowed to move (relocate) with my child?

Am I allowed to move (relocate) with my child?

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding child custody matters involves relocation. Clients are often confused on how to revise a time-sharing schedule that was established in a prior divorce or paternity matter if one party decides they want to move more than fifty (50) miles. Florida Statute 61.13001 outlines the necessary procedures for relocation, defining the two specific ways in which a parent who wants to move can successfully relocate.

It is important to note that the relocation statute applies to both parents or anyone who desires to move more than fifty (50) miles from his/her principal residence at the entry of the last order. Therefore, even if you are not the majority time-sharing parent, you must still seek permission to relocate if you are entitled to time-sharing with a child.

The first way that a parent may relocate is by agreement—that is, if both parents (and any other parties who have time-sharing with the child) approve of the proposed relocation. If both parties agree, they may sign a written agreement that reflects the consent to the relocation, defines a revised access or time-sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent, and describes transportation arrangements. Once the parties come to an agreement, the agreement must still be approved by the court and an order must be entered adopting the terms of the agreement.

If both parties do not agree on the terms of a proposed relocation, then one party may seek to relocate by filing a Petition to Relocate with the court and serving the other parent and any other parties entitled to time-sharing with the child. This petition must include a description of the location of the intended new residence complete with the physical address, if known, the mailing address of the intended new residence (if known), the home phone number of the intended new residence (if available), and the date of the proposed relocation, among other information.

Additionally, the petition must contain a detailed statement of specific reasons for the relocation i.e. an explanation of why you want to move. If a job at the new location has been offered in writing, then a copy of the offer must be attached. Finally, the Petition to Relocate must also include a proposal for a revised post-relocation time-sharing or access schedule complete with transportation arrangements. The Court will then decide if the relocation should be granted based on the "best interest of the child" standard that is set forth in Florida law. If the Court grants the relocation, the Court will enter an order permitting the relocation and setting forth the new time-sharing arrangement.

If you have a time-sharing agreement in place or pending and you want to move, it is essential that you seek the counsel of a competent family law attorney to help you navigate through the relocation process. In addition to relocation issues, our firm also takes on cases involving divorce, custody battles, domestic violence injunctions, will and probate, criminal defense, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. While our main office is in Gainesville, we also handle family law matters through our satellite offices in Ocala, Cheifland, Lake City, and Palatka.

For help with your legal issue, contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free phone consultation at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com

BY: Stephanie N. Mack, Board Certified Marital & Family Law Attorney

June 18, 2012
 
 
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