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Child Relocation in Florida

Divorced parents often wonder if it is possible for them to relocate with their child. The Petition to Relocate must be made in accordance with the law and must contain the correct information in order to be deemed legal. The court will schedule a hearing date at which time both parents will be present unless the non-relocating parent consents to the relocation. Relocation may be across the state or out of state. If you are moving within a 50-mile radius of your home it is not necessary to request permission from the court. However, many parents find that they need to relocate out of state, often in order to take a better job. The Florida relocation statute provides guidelines on how to legally relocate with a child after divorce.

Relocation with a Child

The law regarding relocating with a minor child is a complex one. It is necessary to review it completely when determining how best to proceed in your situation. The statute may not apply to your case so it is best to speak with an experienced divorce attorney before making any decisions regarding relocation. Parents who want to relocate with their child are able to do so in one of two ways:

  • Both parents may consent to the relocation of the child. The consent must be in writing and be approved by the court before relocation takes place.
  • When parents are not in agreement regarding the relocation request, the parent who wishes to relocate must file a petition in court, called a Petition to Relocate.

The Petition to Relocate must be made in accordance with the law and must contain the correct information in order to be deemed legal. The court will schedule a hearing date at which time both parents will be present.

Parenting Plan

When parents divorce they must include a parenting plan in their divorce order. The plan addresses many issues regarding custody and visitation of the child. Parents must address the specific parenting plan or custodial order that is in place. Issues of relocation may be addressed in this plan. Additionally, parents may have already agreed as to the way relocation and other issues will be handled should they occur later on. Always refer to your original divorce order to learn information regarding relocation. In most cases, relocation will need to be handled through the courts with a modification and petition to relocate.

Failure to Comply

Parents who fail to comply with Florida law are subject to legal action. A parent who relocates a child without compliment could be found in contempt. The child could be returned to the other parent or the relocating parent could lose custody of the child. The time-sharing schedule must be properly modified through a court order for it to be considered lawful. In addition to the possibility of losing custody, the relocating parent may be responsible for attorney’s fees for the other parent and for travel costs to return the child. Because of the serious nature of these issues it is strongly advised that you go through proper channels for relocation and modification of child custody issues.

Whether you are considering relocation with a child or want to fight a relocation request by your former spouse, it is best to speak with a family law attorney as soon as possible. These cases can take some time and you must have a court order before moving with the child. To learn more about child relocation in Florida, contact the Tampa divorce and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.

By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+

All Family Law Group, P.A.
The law firm of All Family Law Group (Lynette Silon-Laguna, P.A.) provides legal services to the cities of Tampa, Clearwater, Brandon, Riverview, Lakeland, Valrico, Gibsonton, Lithia, Mango, Palm River, Plant City, Seffner, Sun City Center, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Temple Terrace, Carrollwood, Thonotosassa, Lutz, FishHawk, MacDill Air Force Base, and all of Hillsborough, Pinellas & Polk Counties.

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