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RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
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Petition to Relocate

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Family in need of attorney

Unless an agreement to relocate has been entered into, a parent or other person wishing to relocate with a child, must file a Petition to Relocate, with the court, prior to relocating if the change in principal residence falls within the definition of relocation, as provided by Florida Statute. There are two primary components to the statutory definition of relocation. First, the change in principal residence must be both of a distance greater than 50 miles. Second, the relocation must be for a period of at least 60 days. Excluded from the statutory definition of relocation are temporary absences, for the purpose of vacation, education, or the provision of health care for a child.

Florida Statutes set forth the procedures required to petition the court for the relocation of a child. In general, there are three critical components involved in the initial process of petitioning the court for relocation:

(1) Content of Pleadings;
(2) Oath or Affirmation; and
(3) Notification requirements

The content of pleadings requirement can be met by including, within the petition, the following information:

• A description of the location of the intended new residence, including the state, city, and specific physical address, if known.
• The mailing address of the intended new residence, if not the same as the 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 postrelocation schedule for access and time-sharing together with a proposal for the postrelocation transportation arrangements necessary to effectuate time-sharing with the child. Absent the existence of a current, valid order abating, terminating, or restricting access or time-sharing or other good cause predating the petition, failure to comply with this provision renders the petition to relocate legally insufficient.

In addition to the content stated above, the petition must also include a statement regarding the right for the other parent, or any person entitled access to or time-sharing with the child, to object to the relocation, including the procedures that must be followed in order to properly contest to the relocation. The statement must be in all capital letters, and in the same type font, or larger, as in the remainder of the petition. The petitioner must utilize the precise wording provided by statute, or language being substantially similar. The language provided by statute is as follows:

A RESPONSE TO THE PETITION OBJECTING TO RELOCATION MUST BE MADE IN WRITING, FILED WITH THE COURT, AND SERVED ON THE PARENT OR OTHER PERSON SEEKING TO RELOCATE WITHIN 20 DAYS AFTER SERVICE OF THIS PETITION TO RELOCATE. IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY OBJECT TO THE RELOCATION, THE RELOCATION WILL BE ALLOWED, UNLESS IT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD, WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE AND WITHOUT A HEARING.

The second critical component to a petition to relocate is that the petitioner must include a signed oath or affirmation, attesting to the truthfulness of the contents of the petition, to the best of the petitioner’s knowledge, and further acknowledging awareness of the penalty of perjury for false statements. As such, it is vitally important for a petitioner to ensure that any and all statements and information provided within a petition for relocation are fully accurate and truthful. In addition, the petitioner has a continuing duty to provide current and updated information, as soon after such information becomes known. For example, if the date of relocation, precise address of relocation, or any other information included within the petition changes, the petitioner must provide the court and all interested parties with such changes.

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The notification requirement can be met by serving a copy of the petition to relocate upon the other parent, and every other person entitled access to or time-sharing with the child. The notification requirement is extremely important, because failure to provide notification to all interested persons can result in denial of the petition. The manner of service of process will depend on whether or not there is a pending court action regarding the child. If there is a pending action, the manner of service may be according to court rule. In all other cases, Florida Statutes sets forth the manner in which service of process can be achieved.

When matters that require court approval arise, the process can often be confusing, especially to those who are not fully familiar with the legalities and procedures associated with such approval. As Family Law Attorneys with decades of experience, clients often come to us following prior unsuccessful attempts to obtain court approval to relocate, or otherwise reach agreement with interested parties regarding a relocation.

In some cases, the failure to adhere to a simple formality, can result in denial. In other cases, a parent or other person may have been unsuccessful at either petitioning the court, or challenging a petition, because they failed to secure an attorney to ensure their legal interests were adequately protected. Fortunately, there are often remedies available to overcome prior court rulings, including re-petitioning the court or appealing a decision. Our aggressive team of Gainesville Relocation Attorneys can review you matter and explain your legal rights and options during a comprehensive consultation.