Parental Relocation After Divorce

Family Law Attorneys in Stuart, Florida Offer Advice Regarding Parental Relocation

Florida Law Firm Knowledgeable About Complex Relocation Statute

In Florida, relocation means a change of more than 50 miles from the Child(ren)'s principal place of residence at the time of the last order or pending order establishing or modifying time sharing. This generally does not include temporary Relocation for the purposes of vacation, education or health care for the minor child.

The Florida Relocation Statute

The Florida Relocation Statute provides guidance to parents regarding the removal of children when they do not have a court order or judgment that clearly addresses parental relocation. Under this law, the parent who wants to move the minor child from his current residence may be able to do so legally in two ways:

  • The parents agree in writing to the relocation and preferably have the agreement approved by court order before the relocation takes place.
  • If the parents are unable to agree, the parent who wants to relocate must file a Petition to Relocate with the appropriate Florida court and obtain court approval.

The Florida Relocation Statute also provides for serious sanctions to parents who violate a court-ordered time-sharing plan, parental plan, or custody order by relocating the minor child without following the proper legal requirements. It states that the violating parent will be subjected to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child. Other potential consequences include modification of the parenting plan or time sharing schedule, and the loss of custody of the child.

Although the statute expressly applies to court orders entered after October 1, 2009, removing a child against a court-ordered parenting plan or time sharing schedule entered prior to that date may still trigger a petition for change of custody or a contempt action by the other parent. Because the law is complex, Florida parents should not proceed with a minor child's relocation without obtaining advice from an attorney experienced in parental location.

If you have questions regarding time sharing agreements (custody agreements) and parental relocation, the Colter Law Group will protect your interests as well as those of your children. Contact us online or call (772) 888-0883 for competent legal representation in divorce, time sharing (child custody), and support matters in and around Stuart, Florida.