Americans, in general, are a people on the move. This is especially true of Floridians. Indeed, while the website Moving.com lists Florida as the top state most Americans are moving to, it also ranks among the top five states people are moving from.
Relocating becomes much more difficult when one shares a custody agreement with another. They no doubt want their kids to move with them, yet taking them along means drastically impacting the other parent’s custodial or visitation time. The question then becomes what is legally required when a divorced or separated parent wants to relocate.
Meeting the state’s standards for relocation
Section 61.13001 of Florida’s state statutes says that if both parents submit a revised custody agreement to the court to accommodate for a move, the court presumes the move to be in the best interests of the children subject to it. However, if the non-relocating parent wishes to challenge the basis of the relocating parent’s reasons for moving, the relocating parent only needs to notify them (in writing) prior to moving stating their intentions. Such notice should include the following information:
- The location where they wish to relocate to (including the specific physical and mailing addresses, and telephone number, if known)
- The date they intend to move
- The reason(s) for the relocation (including a copy of a job offer from a new employer, if due to employment)
- A revised custody schedule
- Notice that the non-relocating parent can petition for a hearing
If the non-relocating parent does not petition for a hearing in a timely manner, the court assumes they consent to the move.
Defining a relocation
Per Florida law, the aforementioned steps are only required if one wishes to relocate a child further than 50 miles from their current address for a period of at least 60 consecutive days.