Relocation after a divorce where there are children involved can be a touchy situation. On the one hand, there is a parent that believes he or she needs to move to accomplish some perceived improvement in life. On the other hand, there is a parent who will suffer by having an increased distance between him or her and the children. Both non-majority time-sharing and majority time-sharing parents can have concerns about the other ex-spouse moving far away. However, usually, the situations call into question whether a majority time-sharing parent should be allowed to move with the children. These types of situations are even more serious when the majority time-sharing parent wants to move with the children to another state. Although the move is more drastic, the same factors will be considered.
Relocation is addressed by Florida Statute 61.13001. Per statute, “ ‘Relocation’ means a change in the location of the principal residence of a parent or other person from his or her principal place of residence at the time of the last order establishing or modifying time-sharing, or at the time of filing the pending action to establish or modify time-sharing. The change of location must be at least 50 miles from that residence, and for at least 60 consecutive days not including a temporary absence from the principal residence for purposes of vacation, education, or the provision of health care for the child.” The parent seeking relocation has the burden of proving that the relocation is in the best interest of the children. The court will consider many factors, including the reason for the move, the effect the move will have on the time-sharing of the other parent, relevant economic considerations, and many other factors.
The relocation statute applies where cases have already been filed, but not pre-filing. For example, Florida appellate courts have found that where a mother has moved out of the State prior to a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage being filed and served in a divorce case, the mother was free to move with the children without getting approval from the court. In cases where the relocation statute should apply, but the move is less than 50 miles, there may be other grounds for objecting to the move. At the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC, we have experienced family lawyers that can help protect your rights as a parent. Call today for a free consultation.