Before you move, you must read this . . . If you are a parent who has custody of a child or children in a paternity or divorce case, you cannot relocate your child or children more than fifty miles without express written permission of the other parent or an order from the court allowing the relocation. This is the mandate of the Florida Relocation Statute. The statute sets forth very important rules and restrictions for custodial parents who want to relocate and many parents are not even aware of the statute.
If you know a relocation is in your future, it is important to prepare for the legal aspect of the move many months in advance. The pleading requirements for relocation are very complex and the courts require strict compliance with these requirement. Therefore, this is a time when you should hire an attorney to help you navigate through the process. There are many things to consider but as a general matter, you must have a legitimate reason to relocate and this relocation must be in the best interests of your child or children.
If you can reach an agreement with a former spouse or the child(ren)’s other parent, then you should reduce that agreement to writing and file it in your court file. Again, you should retain an attorney to ensure the agreement contains adequate language and to be sure it is filed with the Court.
Alternatively, if you do not have an agreement, then you will have to file the Petition to Relocate and have a hearing with the judge, who will decide. If your case involves a relocation which is on short notice, such as an unexpected job transfer, the Relocation Statute allows you to file an interim motion and ask for a temporary relocation. The final hearing will take place later. There is much more to know about the Relocation Statute so it is important to hire an attorney if you find yourself in this situation.