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Relocation with a Child in Florida

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If you are the parent with the majority of the parenting time of a minor child and you wish to relocate it is very important that you contact an attorney. You must ensure that you have taken the appropriate steps before you relocate. The Statute that governs relocation is Florida Statute 61.13001. On the other hand, if you are the non-residential parent of a child and you have just been informed that your former spouse or child’s other parent plans to relocate with your child, you should contact an attorney to help you file your timely objection. Failure to timely object to relocation may have a devastating effect on your future relationship with your child.

Whether you are looking to relocate or your spouse is looking to relocate with your child(ren), it is imperative that you follow the law.


1. Petition: The statute requires the custodial parent to file a Petition to Relocate if there is to be a change in the principal residence of the child of more than 50 miles from the child’s residence at the time of the entry of the last custody or visitation order or the time the request is made. The change of residence must be for a period of 60 days or more and does not include temporary absences for vacation, education or health-care for the child.

The Petition must be in writing, filed with the court and served upon the other parent, be signed under oath and include a specific address and telephone number for the new residence, the date of the intended move, specific reasons for the move and, if one of the reasons is a job offer, a copy of the written job offer if it exists. The Petition must also include a proposed post relocation schedule of visitation and a notice that an objection to the intent to relocate must be filed as a response to the Petition within 20 days and served on the relocating parent.

2. Objection to the Petition: The objection shall be in the form of a response to the Petition, be verified and state a specific factual basis and shall include a statement of the amount of participation the objecting party currently has in the life of the child. See, ‘Contesting to Relocation.’

3. What happens if you relocate without first filing a Petition or if you relocate anyway after the other parent objects? You become subject to sanctions in any subsequent relocation proceeding or modification of custody proceeding. The other party may request temporary or permanent return of the child, as well as attorney’s fees, costs and travel expenses.

Obviously, failing to follow the proper procedure in a relocation situation could have serious consequences. See, ‘Consequences of Wrongful Relocation.’ If you are considering relocation or the other parent of your child is considering it, contact the child custody attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim to protect your rights.

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