After divorce, many parents explore the option of relocating, which is understandable. These parents bring their concerns to the firm, wondering if this it is a legally viable option. As a family law attorney, I have encountered this question countless numbers of times through the years. How do you begin? What is the first step?
You will need the court’s approval before you may be allowed to relocate. If you have an existing court order, such as for alimony or child support payments, whether or not it is temporary, make sure that you know what the limits are with regards to relocation.
The Florida Relocation Statute
Florida Relocation Statute, 61.13001, supplies all of the information that parents need with regards to the relocating children if there are no court orders or judgments and if there are no existing regulations concerning the matter. There are penalties for violating the laws, as well, which we will delve further into in a moment.
First, you will be required to fill out a form “Notice of Intent to Relocate with Child(ren).” This is the information you must provide:
- Description of the location where you intend to relocate, which includes the physical address, city, and state
- The mailing address of your new residence, if it differs from the physical address
- The home telephone number of the new residence
- The date that you intend to relocate
- A statement of purpose regarding your decision to relocate
- If you are starting a new job, as an example, provide a copy of the job offer letter
- A proposal for the necessary travel arrangements and the planned schedule to continue child visitation.
If you are not the custodial parent and plan to relocate 50 miles or more from the other parent, If you intend to relocate 50 miles or more from the parent who has custody, you must notify the courts as well as the other parent. There have been cases where spouses object to the relocation, and will need intervention from the courts. Even then, when a parent does agree, the courts will still need to approve the petition.
The Court’s Considerations
Naturally, parents choose to relocate for many reasons, and most have good intentions behind this decision. Most of the time, the parents have found a more promising career opportunity, with a significant pay raise. The courts will evaluate how the courts will affect the children first and foremost. Is it in the child’s best interests? Does the child have special needs? How much of an emotional impact will relocation have? Other relevant information included in the filing petition will also be accounted for.
If you have further questions about relocation laws in Florida, do not hesitate to contact my firm, The Virga Law Firm, P.A. I have over 10 years of experience finding the right solution for families. I can sit down with you to discuss your situation in greater detail and how the laws would apply to you.