Parent Child Relocations in Florida

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Relocation on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

Florida is the 4th fastest growing state, in part, because we are a mobile country. When you’re separating with children though, moving to (or from) Florida is not so easy. This post explores parental relocations with a child.

In Florida, relocations are defined as moving your principal residence – as it was at the time of the last order establishing or modifying timesharing, or at the time of filing the pending action to establish or modify timesharing – at least 50 miles for at least 60 consecutive days – not including a temporary absence for vacation, education, or health care for your children.

I’ve written and spoken about relocations in the past. Increasingly, people have to relocate with their children during, or right after, a divorce or separation. Some studies estimate that up to 25% of parents move away within the first 2-years after their divorce.

These are some of the common reasons for relocating with a child:

  • – New job offers
  • – Work transfer
  • – New spouse
  • – Financial opportunities
  • – Family support networks

There are two ways to successfully relocate with your child:

1. Both parents sign a written agreement consenting to the relocation, and the agreement has a time-sharing schedule, and works out the transportation arrangements.

2. If you can’t enter a written agreement, and you still want to relocate, you must file a petition to relocate and serve it on the other parent.

If you relocate without an agreement or a court order allowing you to move, you can be held in contempt, the child may be compelled to return, and your relocating improperly is a factor in establishing or modifying a parenting plan or time-sharing schedule

There is no longer a legal presumption in favor or against relocations. Instead, Florida courts have to evaluate several factors such as:

  • – The age of the child
  • – The child’s preference
  • – The reasons for moving
  • – History of drug abuse or domestic violence

Ask a family judge to name the most difficult type of case to handle, and most likely he or she will say child relocation cases. If a Court grants the move, the non-moving parent will no longer be able to participate in the day-to-day life of her or his child.

On the other hand, if the Court denies relocation, and the moving parent has no choice but to move away, then the child will be separated from the parent with whom the child may have the closest bond. In either situation, the child loses.

The 24/7 Wall Street article on the fastest growing states is here.