West Palm Beach Relocation Attorneys
Representing Clients in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie & Indian River Counties
In Florida, relocation is permitted under certain circumstances, including for the purpose of vacation, education, and/or the provision of health care for the child. To relocate a parent must comply with the provisions set in Section 61.13001 of the Florida Statutes and either:
- Work with the other parent to obtain a written agreement in accordance with the law or
- Serve a Petition to Relocate signed under oath (the other spouse is entitled to object)
While you can petition for relocation, the court will not immediately grant or deny your request. To prevail, you must prove that a move would be in your child’s best interests. As the courts have mandated that a desire to relocate is not a sufficient substantial change in circumstances to merit custody modification, it would behoove you to seek the legal counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer familiar with such matters.
What Is Included in a Relocation Agreement?
A relocation agreement clarifies the terms of the move, the time-sharing schedule, and the new custody arrangements – if applicable. In the event you would like to relocate, you must ensure the proper terms of your request are included in your agreement. The agreement should:
- Show that both parents assent to the relocation and terms
- Establish a time-sharing schedule
- Spell out how transportation will be handled during visitation time
After, the parents will sign their agreement with the court and put in a request to have it ratified to avoid attending a formal hearing.
What Is Relocation?
Relocation is defined by Florida law as a change in the location of the principal residence of a parent or guardian at the time of the last order establishing/modifying time-sharing or at the time of filing the pending action to establish/modify time-sharing. This statute prevents a residential parent from relocating more than 50 miles from their residence for at least 60 consecutive days unless he/she enters into a written agreement with the other parent before the move or the court approves the relocation.
How to Object to a Petition for Relocation
Objections to a Petition for Relocation are the opposing parent’s legal right. To make an objection, file a verifiable response and serve it within 20 days after being served the Petition for Relocation. Your response should include:
- Factual evidence supporting the reasons for the objection
- Statement including details regarding your participating and involvement in your child’s life
What Happens if My Ex-Spouse Attempts to Relocate my Child without Permission?
If a parent attempts to relocate with your child and does not comply with Florida law, this parent could be subject to contempt and will need to return the child. After, the court will make subsequent decisions or modifications to the parenting plan, custody, and/or the time-sharing schedule.
Consult with a Lawyer at Our Firm for Help with Your Case
The ultimate concern in a relocation determination is whether the relocation is in the best interests of the child. If you need assistance filing a petition to request or object a relocation request or have found your partner/ex-partner in contempt of an existing order, contact our office today.