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Relocation Attorneys in Melbourne, FL

Relocation is governed by Florida Statute 61.13001 and defines it as a change in the principal residence of a parent from his or her principal place of residence at the time that the Court entered its last order establishing or modifying time-sharing or at the time that an action is filed to either modify or establish timesharing.  The relocation must be more than fifty miles from the relocating parent’s residence, and it must be permanent. 

The parents of a child may agree to permit the relocation and that requires a written agreement that clearly states that it is with consent with the time-sharing plan for the parent that does not relocate and, if needed, describes the necessary transportation arrangements to permit the non-relocating parent to exercise timesharing and, should also allow the cost of travel. 

What are the Required Statements in a Relocation Petition?

If there is no agreement, the parent wishing to relocate must file and serve on the other parent a petition  that complies with the Statute and must be signed under oath by the parent filing it. There are required statements in the petition:

  • A description of the intended new residence. 
  • The mailing address of the new residence. 
  • The home telephone number of the new residence. 
  • The date of the intended move. 
  • A detailed statement of the specific reasons for the relocation and if it is based upon a job offer, the offer in writing must be attached to the petition. 
  • A proposal for substitute time-sharing must be included.
  • The petition must state it is made in good faith and in the child’s best interests. 

The non-relocating parent is required to file a sworn objection with the court within twenty (20) days and, failing doing so, the court may enter an order permitting the relocation. 

The statute provides for a temporary hearing within thirty days to permit a temporary relocation but if the court allows a temporary relocation there will still be a hearing to permit a permanent relocation. 

A parent who relocates with a child without either an agreement or court order permitting 

it could be held in contempt by the court and ordered to return with the child and it may be considered as a factor against permitting either a temporary or permanent relocation. 

There are factors that the court is required to consider in ruling on a petition for relocation:

  • The child’s relationship with the relocating parent and other persons, usually family members, in the child’s life. 
  • The age and developmental stage of the child, the child’s needs, and the impact that the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, including any special needs. 
  • The feasibility of maintaining a close and substantial bond with the non-relocating parent. 
  • The child’s preference is of sufficient age to express meaningful decision. 
  • Whether the move will enhance the quality of life of the relocating parent and the child. 
  • The reasons stated by the either parent for either proposing or opposing the relocation.
  • The current employment and economic circumstances of each parent and whether the relocation is necessary to improve the relocating parent. 
  • Whether the relocation is in good faith and whether the relocating parent will obey court orders once out of the court’s jurisdiction. 

An evidentiary earing or nonjury trial on a pleading seeking temporary or permanent relief shall be given priority on the court’s calendar.  If a notice to set the matter for a nonjury trial is file, absent good cause, the nonjury trial must occur no later than 90 days after the notice is filed.

The attorneys at the Figueroa Law Group, P.A. have handled relocations cases for years and have the experience and skill to competently prepare and present your relocation case in Court.

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