Child Relocation & Court Permission

by Anonymous from Florida

Relocating with a child when parents were never married and visitation rights were never established. My ex and I were never married and we had a little girl in 2007.

He signed her birth certificate but we ended up splitting up 3 months later.

For the first two years of her life he really wasn't an active part of her life. Recently he has been trying to see her a few weekends a month or one weekend a month.

He was put on child support in September of 2010, no visitation was ever set up and he never brought up custody or visitation rights.

She lives with me full time and he just ask to see her when he can because he works a lot of hours and can not commit to structured plan.

He lives in Gainesville and I live in Kissimmee, I have been in a long distance relationship with someone in Atlanta, Georgia and we are talking about getting married. He has a career in Georgia and an established residence.

I am between jobs and have a job offer in Atlanta. Can I relocate with my daughter as long as I am willing to be accommodating when it comes to visitation or can my ex out of spite stop me from moving and obtaining this job as well, even though I'm engaged and will move into a home and go from being unemployed to employed?

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Anonymous,

Contrary to popular belief Florida courts do not prevent people from moving away and getting on with their lives.

It is only when divorced parents act vindictively that the courts must step in.

All that is required for you to relocate is that you have written permission from
your daughter's father.

There are forms available on the Florida Supreme Court's website, , that parents can file to have their agreement formalized through the court system.

Have a look at Florida's new Supreme Court approved Form 12-950a, Agreement for Relocation of Minor Children to see if it is appropriate for your situation.

If your daughter's father refuses to provide you with written permission to relocate to another state with your daughter, you can petition through the court to do so.

Have a look at Florida's new Supreme Court approved Form 12-950d, Supplemental Petition to Permit Relocation with Minor Children to see if it is appropriate for your situation.

At the same time as the courts do not want parents to act vindictively by relocating with a child to prevent the other parent's contact; the courts also do not want one parent to act vindictively in forcing a parent to stay in Florida.

The fact that you have a job offer in Atlanta is persuasive to the court in allowing you to relocate. The fact that your daughter's father does not have regular contact is also persuasive. And finally, the fact that you are willing to make fair and reasonable visitation arrangements also supports your goal in relocating elsewhere.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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Comments for Child Relocation & Court Permission

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Relocating Within Same State
by: Anonymous in Florida

My ex-husband and I have 50/50 custody of our children. One week on and one week off. I am looking to relocate approximately 250 miles from my current residence to be closer to family, to get a better paying job and to remarry. Where we currently live my ex-husband only has one family member. The rest of his family members live in the town that I would like to relocate to and my family lives there as well.

The approved parenting plan indicates that if I move more than 50 miles from my current residence I need to obtain approval from him and if he objects then I need to petition the court. At the final divorce hearing, the judge did an amended order that reads "relative to the parties' time-sharing of their minor children, at the final hearing both parties freely and voluntarily waived the substantial change in circumstances requirement in the event of any future modification of time-sharing, and both parties agreed that any future modification of time-sharing would be based solely upon the best interests of the minor children considering the factors set forth under section 61.13 of the Florida Statutes."

Do I have a chance of getting a relocation approximately 250 miles from my current residence and outling the time-sharing schedule for long distance vistation per Florida Statutes? The reason for the move is to have the kids closer to family and for family support with the kids, get a better paying job to provide a better life for the kids along with my soon to be new husband who has a good paying job and career.

--I'm not sure what that clause in your final judgment really means. I think you will still need to abide by the relocation law as you stated. My suggestion is to see if you can come to an agreement, otherwise go ahead and file a Supplemental petition to permit relocation with minor children, Form 12.950(d).--Staff

Relocating From Tennessee With Kids
by: Nicole from Chattanooga TN

I'm recently divorced and have 2 children. The father sees them pretty often. I have a great job opportunity in Florida and want to move. How can I do this?

--Tennessee's relocation law is very similar to Florida's child relocation statute. Here is an excerpt of the TN Parental Relocation law:

§ 36-6-108. Parental relocation
(a) If a parent who is spending intervals of time with a child desires to relocate outside the state or more than one hundred (100) miles from the other parent within the state, the relocating parent shall send a notice to the other parent at the other parent's last known address by registered or certified mail. Unless excused by the court for exigent circumstances, the notice shall be mailed not later than sixty (60) days prior to the move. The notice shall contain the following:
(1) Statement of intent to move;
(2) Location of proposed new residence;
(3) Reasons for proposed relocation; and
(4) Statement that the other parent may file a petition in opposition to the move within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice.


Leaving State with Sole Custody
by: Mark from Bradenton

If I have sole custody of my son since July 2011 she has supervised visitations and has not seen him in 4 months can I legally leave state?

--The requirement to get the court's permission for a relocation of more than 50 miles does not exclude supervised visitation. You need to file an agreement for relocation by filing the Agreement for Relocation of Minor Children Form 12-950a or get a judges approval if you cannot come to an agreement. You can do this by filing the Supplemental Petition to Permit Relocation with Minor Children Form 12-950d. --Staff

Relocation to California
by: Kim from Florida

I have custody of my 3 year old son. His father gets him every other weekend from Thursday night until 7am Monday morning. My ex and I live 2 hours away right now. I have recently married an airman in the US Air Force who is stationed in California.

I tried to speak to my ex about the move to come to an agreement. He wouldn't even discuss the issue. I filed the necessary paperwork to relocate with a very liberal time with his dad (his dad will have him same amount of time as now just for longer periods of time).

His dad answered the petition with BOGUS answers. He has a lawyer, and I don't. I can not afford an attorney. Where do I go from here? What is next?

--Florida courts have a strong bias toward shared parental responsibility, which was once called joint custody. Most likely you have shared parental responsibility; and your son lives with you the majority of the time. Since you are the parent making the decision to relocate, the courts may well decide that the father can provide more stability for your son, just by virtue of keeping him in more familiar surroundings.

All things being equal, supposing that you and your son's father are equally good parents, the choice of which parent has the child the majority of the time is most difficult. If, in fact, the answers that your ex gave on the petition are "bogus', and he is not a good parent, then it is up to you to bring evidence forward to prove it. --Staff

Military relocation
by: Anonymous

I live in Florida and my soon to be ex, in the military filed for divorce knowing he was pcsing in Jan to another state, and has asked for custody of our two son, who 4 and 5, i filed an answer/countersuit and relocation petition to move to my family home in SC. He then went and file a petition for himself.

His petition was heard first in Nov, and he was denied, so now our divorce and my petition are going to be on the same day in Dec, and now he's bringing his mother to court to fight for custody of our sons, even thou he was told he could leave but the kids would stay with me. His mother hates me, and told my kids horrible things about me, how do i fight this as i have no lawyer and the judge seemed to want this case to be ended by agreement. instead he's trying for custody.

--Tough situation. You need legal advice. Try our free Lawyer Referral Service. Many lawyers give free or low cost first time consultation. --Staff

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