As sad and unwanted as it is, divorce is a reality. Not only is it something that many families have to deal with, but it can also add additional layers of stress on a family even long after the separation is complete and the adults have moved on.
There are times where the parent with custody rights decides, for one reason or another, that they want to leave and take the children with them to wherever it is they are going. The needs of their job, family health issues, financial necessity, all can lead to the need for
The unforeseen need to move along with the kids can lead to a huge dispute. It can also bring into question whether the parent can relocate at all and bring the children with them.
A change of location by one of the parents of at least 50 miles from the previous location for more than 60 consecutive days, a relocation is occurring and the court may need to be involved.
The easiest way to go through a relocation is by agreement between the parents. Unfortunately, it is rare for two parents to come to an agreement about the permanent relocation of their children. Additionally, it is not quite as simple as just the two parents agreeing.
There is a strict writing requirement that involves signing and a reflection of the consent to allow relocation. Defined access and time-sharing schedule for the nonrelocating parent and the description of any necessary arrangements for transportation and access/time-sharing with the children is important to lay out as well.
As with everything else in a contentious divorce, things aren’t that easy. Even if it both parents have moved on from their animosity and have agreed to the relocation, if there was a prior judgment entered regarding time-sharing, then the parties MUST seek modification of the original agreement through the court.
If the other parent disagrees, this modification must be contested within 10 days of its being filed. When a disagreement arises regarding relocation, the parent fighting relocation must object to the modification being filed. If they don’t the court will ratify the pre-existing order without an evidentiary hearing.
This can be devasting for the remaining parent, and although it could possibly be reversed, it will not prevent the relocating party from leaving with the minor child.
If there is no prior agreement put in place regarding a time-sharing schedule with the children, then a Petition to Relocate is required. Failing to handle any of these matters properly can result in charges of contempt of court, civil penalties, and potentially criminal liability.
Florida Statute 61.13001 and its subsections to provide guidance, but it can be a lot to handle without a lawyer. And you do not have to go through the process alone. Sit down with us if you are planning on moving on with your life and moving that life to a new location.
Let us plan your actions so that you don’t ever have to worry about being on the wrong side of the law.