Child Relocation Attorneys

If you are divorced, separated or in the process of getting divorced or establishing paternity and you want to relocate, you may have to comply with Florida’s relocation statute, Section 61.13001 of the Florida Statutes. This relocation statute applies if you or your child’s parent is considering moving more than 50 miles away from your current residence and you have a minor child. This statute was created in 2006 and sets up a specific mechanism that courts use to determine whether to allow one party to relocate with a minor child.  

Family Law & Divorce Lawyers Can Help

Relocation can cause heating arguments and emotional distress. A family law attorney can help you keep your cool and come to an agreement that is best for all parties involved.

There are two ways for a parent to validly relocate with a minor child: 

  1. Relocation By Agreement
  2. Relocation By Court Order 

Relocation By Agreement

a relocation can occur if both parents and any other person entitled to time sharing with the child agree to the relocation. In the statute, this is called “Relocation by Agreement”.  To be binding, the agreement must be in writing and signed, must reflect consent to the relocation, define the time-sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent and, if necessary, describe the transportation arrangements necessary to facilitate the new time sharing arrangement.  

If you plan to relocate by agreement, it is still advisable to have an attorney assist you in drafting the agreement to make sure that it meets all legal requirements of Florida law and to help you avoid issues in the future by drafting the agreement to protect your best interests. Not only does this agreement need to be in writing and signed, it must also be submitted to the court and made part of a permanent order. This is necessary to make the agreement enforceable by the court.  

Further, if there is a change in time-sharing due to a relocation, then there will likely be a change in child support as well. An experienced attorney can assist you in making sure that a relocation agreement is well drafted, approved by the court and all support obligations are adjusted accordingly.

Relocation By Court Order  

Often times, one of the parties objects to a relocation of the child, regardless of the validity of the reasons for the requested relocation. Even when the reasons for the proposed relocation are legitimate and compelling, the proposed relocation may take the child away from friends and family that have been in the child’s life since he or she was born or from a parent that currently spends considerable time with the child. Ultimately, a judge must consider what is in the best interest of the child when determining whether a parent should be allowed to relocate with a minor child.  

While parents may have specific ideas about what is in their child’s best interest, the court is guided by the specific factors that are listed in Section 61.13001 and 61.13, Florida Statutes. Both of these statutes contain a long list of factors for the judge to consider when one parent wishes to relocate; as well as a catch-all factor that allows the court to consider anything it finds relevant to the matter.    

In addition to giving the court a framework  to determine the best interest of a child, Florida Statutes 61.13001 also lays out very specific requirements for what must be in a petition to relocate, on whom such a petition must be served, sets specific time frames and requirements for responding to such a petition and even governs when such hearing should be placed on the court’s calendar.

These rules are specific to relocation cases. For example, most responses in family law do not have to be under oath (also known as “verified”) and only have to make general statements, like admitting or denying an allegation. In relocation cases, the response to a petition to relocate must “be verified (made under oath) and include the specific factual basis supporting the reasons for seeking a prohibition of the relocation, including a statement of the amount of participation or involvement the objecting party currently has or has had in the life of the child.” See Section 61.13001(5), Florida Statutes. Failing to comply with these specific rules can result in the relocation being granted in cases where possibly it otherwise would not have been.  

Contact an Experienced Child Relocation Attorney

All of our family law attorneys have extensive experience in handling relocation cases. Our attorneys can use our extensive trial experience to present your case to the Judge or to draft an agreement that secures a relocation. Contact The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates for a free initial consultation to discuss your relocation case today.