If you have children, and wish to relocate those children more than 50 miles away from their residence at the time of the divorce, you must either have the consent of your ex-spouse or a Court order permitting the relocation. Parents who wish to relocate after a divorce must first obtain a modification of the court order by proving that they have experienced a change in circumstance and that the move would be in the best interests of the children to be permitted to relocate.
Florida statutes have provided the Courts with a number of factors the Court is supposed to consider when determining if the relocation should be allowed. However, before the Court can analyze the facts and the factors to determine whether the parent and child should be allow to relocate, you must first be in absolute compliance with Florida statute 61.130001. Known as the relocation statute, 61.130001 details the requirements for a Petition to Relocate, which must include a number of details regarding the relocation. These details include the new address and the living arrangements at the place of relocation and the proposed new time-sharing schedule for the children with the non-relocating parent. More importantly the statute provides that there is a particular notice to the non-relocating parent that must be included in the Petition for Relocation that must be IN BOLD AND ALL CAPS. FAILURE TO INCLUDE THIS NOTICE WILL RESULT IN THE DISMISSAL OF YOUR PETITION.
Another interesting aspect to this statute is that it provides for an expedited hearing on temporary relocation, if the petitioner wishes to use that right. What that means to you is that once you file the Petition for Relocation, you are entitled to a hearing on temporary relocation within 30 days of the date of filing. At that hearing, the Court will determine whether or not to let you and the children relocate on a temporary basis before the final trial on your request to relocate. Needless to say, these hearings require a great deal of quick preparation in order to be able to go forward on a temporary relocation.
Family law judges can grant relocation for a number of reasons. Perhaps you have been offered a better job than the one you currently have or your employer, or the military, is asking you to relocate. This new position or location could improve your ability to care for your child and it could also expose your children to better schools, better cultural opportunities or to a better environment to grow up in. Courts have also approved relocations because a parent, or child, suffered from poor health and the relocation was necessary to be in a better climate or be closer to a special hospital. Regardless of the reasons for your relocation, JC Williams Law can help you understand the process and your options while representing you before a family law judge.