Divorce is a life-changing event that can lead to financial hardship, emotional turmoil and personal challenges. It can also open doors to better opportunities.
For many divorced individuals, pursuing a new job or remarriage in a new location is the positive change they need. Unfortunately, when children are involved, relocation following divorce becomes more complicated.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is Relocation?
As defined by Florida’s Relocation Statute, § 61.13001, relocation means “a change in the principal residence of a child for a period of 60 consecutive days or more but does not include a temporary absence from the principal residence for purposes of vacation, education, or the provision of health care for the child.”
For custodial parents seeking to relocate a minor child more than 50 miles from his or her principal residence, a written agreement consenting to the relocation must be obtained from the non-custodial parent and any other person who is entitled to visitation with the child.
The written agreement must include express consent to the relocation by the other parental party or parties. It must also define visitation specifics for the non-custodial parent or other individual who has visitation rights with the child.
In some cases, you may also need to provide the court with a Notice of Intent to Relocate. This informs the court of your decision to alter the child’s principal residence as stated in the original custody agreement. Notice of Intent to Relocate only applies to uncontested relocation cases. If the child’s non-custodial parent does not consent to the relocation, you will have to file a Petition to Relocate.
What is a Petition to Relocate?
In the State of Florida, you must complete a Petition to Relocate if your children’s non-custodial parent refuses to sign an official agreement to the relocation. You must serve the non-custodial parent with this petition. It must include information regarding your new relocation address, new mailing address, telephone number and any other pertinent information.
Choose a Trustworthy Florida Family Law Attorney
Relocation with minor children can be an emotional, traumatic journey. The process of filing a petition, following up with your ex-spouse and obtaining the necessary paperwork to finalize a relocation can be confusing and intimidating.
A trustworthy family law attorney in Florida can help you prepare, complete your petition and navigate the complicated relocation process.
Laura Spencer Coleman is a Florida family law attorney with over 20 years of experience helping families navigate legal issues. Contact our office today.