Are you considering relocating with your child after divorce? It’s a major decision that requires careful planning and consideration. In this blog on how to successfully relocate with your child after divorce, we provide tips and advice for a smooth transition.
What is Relocation?
Florida Statute defines relocation as a change in the principal residence of a parent or other person of at least 50 miles, and for at least 60 consecutive days not including temporary absences for vacation, education, or health care. See Florida Statute §61.13001.
When it comes to relocating with your child after divorce, open communication is key. It’s important to involve the other parent in the decision-making process and address any concerns or objections they may have. By working together and finding common ground, you can minimize conflicts and make the transition easier for everyone involved.
How can I relocate with my child?
One crucial step in the relocation process is obtaining legal consent. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may need permission from the court or the other parent to move with your child. It’s important to understand the legal requirements and follow the proper procedures to avoid any complications or legal issues down the line.
Relocation by Agreement:
A parent may relocate with the minor child with the consent of the non-relocating parent.
If the parents and “every other person entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child agree” regarding the relocation, they may sign a written agreement that:
- Reflects the consent to the relocation;
- Defines an access or time-sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent and any other persons who are entitled to access or timesharing; and
- Describes, if necessary, any transportation arrangements related to access or time-sharing.
See Florida Statute §61.13001(2)(a).
If the parents have a case that establishes a schedule for the child, the parents must obtain a Court Order accepting the agreement. See Florida Statute §61.13001(2)(b). If this is the case, you must file the agreement allowing the relocation with the Court.
The court does not require an evidentiary hearing unless a party requests it within ten (10) days. If no hearing is requested, the court can ratify the agreement without conducting one.
Court Order Granting your (Request) Petition to Relocate:
You can request the Court to allow you to move with the your child by filing a petition to relocate. See Florida Statute §61.13001(3).
When filing the petition to relocate, ensure it includes specific information and sign it under oath:
- 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 you are relocating because of a job offer, make sure to attach the written job offer to the petition.
- A proposal for the revised post-relocation schedule of timesharing together with a proposal for the post-relocation 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.
- Substantially the following statement, in all capital letters and in the same size type, or larger, as the type in the remainder of the notice:
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.
See Florida Statute §61.13001(3)(a).
Formal Service of Process
Florida law mandates proper service of the petition to relocate on the other parent and anyone else with access to the child. If no response is filed within twenty (20) days, the relocation is presumed to be in the child’s best interest and will be allowed.
Best Interest of the Minor Child
Another essential aspect to consider is your child’s well-being and their best interests. Take into account their relationship with the noncustodial parent, their educational needs, and the overall impact of the move on their social and emotional development. By prioritizing their needs, you can make informed decisions that promote their stability and happiness.
Relocating with your child after divorce can be a complex process. But with careful planning and effective communication, it can be a successful and positive experience for everyone involved. Remember to always prioritize your child’s best interests and seek professional guidance when needed.
In addition to the information provided above, the Court will consider several other statutory factors when making a decision on whether to grant or deny a petition to relocate. Each case is different. There are certain factors that may be applicable (or not) to your case. This is why we stress the importance of speaking with an attorney if you decide to relocate with your child.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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