This article is specific to the laws of the State of Florida.A� Other States treat relocation of the primary parent much differently than Florida.A� If you are looking for advice on child relocation laws in a State other than Florida, please contact your State’s BAR Association to consult an Attorney.
In Florida, the lawmakers have created specific rules and procedures for when one parent wishes to relocate with a minor child, and the other parent has visitation rights with the child. Even if the other parent only sees his child one day a week, the procedures and rules that the lawmakers have put in place via Florida Statute Chapter 61.0113 must be followed.A� If not, a divorce Judge may order the return of the child to the State, or even hold the moving parent in contempt of court!A� Below, please see five important things a parent with a minor child must consider before packing his or her bags and moving with the child out of State.
1. A�Your move might be”relocation” even if you are moving to the other side of the County!
In Florida, relocation is defined as a move of more than 50 miles away from the address that the courts have for a current record.A� That means even if your move is from one side of a large county to another, then you still must follow the rules and regulations regarding a petition for the move.A� A�However, if the move is less than 50 miles, the relocation statute does not apply, and you will not have to petition the court for your move.
2. A� If you can reach an agreement with the other parent, then you the court will adopt your agreement, as long as it is good for the child.
The Statute does provide an easy way to handle the problem of relocation of your child:A� Simply agreeing on the move with the other time-sharing parent! If this is the case, the proper paperwork will still need to be filed.A� Also, the court will still briefly review the move to make sure it will not be harmful to the child.A� However, if there is an agreement in place, chances are the court will review and sign off on the relocation.
3. A�If you do not reach an agreement, then you will need to file a Petition to Relocate the Child with the Court.
No agreement in place, then it is time to file a petition with the courts.A� Under other motions in a criminal case, process must be served on the other parent; either by a process server, or by certified mail. If you are going to file a petition, it would be wise to seek the advice of an attorney to help you reopen your previous family case and make sure the other party is properly served.
4. A�There is no presumption as to whether the move is in the best interests of the child.
There exists no presumption in Florida as to whether or not the relocation of the parent and the minor child is in the best interests of the child or not.A� That means that every case is handled a case by case basis.A� The Court will analysis the specific factors in your unique situation:A� Can you get a Job better in the new location,A� Will the relocation sever pre-existing relationships’ between the minor child and his school, friends, or family,A� These are specific questions that will require a hearing to flesh out.
5. A�The burden of proof is on the petitioning party to show that the move is in the best interests of the child
You must remember, the burden is on you as the relocating party to prove to the court that the move is necessary and will not harm the minor child.A� Because of this, it is wise to speak to an attorney and seek a lawyer’s advice and counsel before proceeding.A�A� Usually a move, whether because of a new job, or to be closer to family, is extremely important. Do not take a chance.A�