Florida Law to Relocate Children
by Anonymous Friend from Florida
Michigan mom and child moved to Florida with boyfriend, and now wants to return to Michigan without boyfriend? My friend has asked me to get information on this.
She and her boyfriend lived in Michigan when their son was born.
They then moved to Florida with their son, and now they are not getting along and she would like to return to Michigan without her boyfriend. He says she can't leave without his consent. Is this true?
Answer to Florida Child Custody Question
Dear Anonymous Friend,
It depends. In some circumstances it is considered parental abduction and child endangerment for one parent to relocate with a child without the other parent's consent.
Those circumstances are generally when there is a pending court hearing about child custody or visitation; and when the parents are married. If the child's father has never asserted his paternity, it may be that the father does not have paternal rights.
In Florida if a couple is not married, and has a child together, the father must assert his legal rights to paternity -- paternal rights for unwed fathers are not automatic. Ways that a biological father can assert his paternal rights include:
• acknowledgment of paternity when the child is born by signing an affidavit;
• the father's name displayed on the child's birth certificate;
• and living as a family and providing support to the child.
If a parent is relocating with a child in order to accept an offer of employment it is generally considered to be a valid reason for relocation.
However, for one parent to relocate with a child for other reasons, such as that parent's own family support system in another state -- this is not generally considered a valid enough reason to relocate without the other parent's consent.
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.
Also, 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.
Florida Statutes 61.3001 addresses Parental Relocation with a Child. The following is part of that Statute:
(3) PETITION TO RELOCATE. — Unless an agreement has been entered as described in subsection (2), a parent or other Notice:
person seeking relocation must file a petition to relocate and serve it upon the other parent, and every other person entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child. The pleadings must be in accordance with this section:
(a) The petition to relocate must be signed under oath or affirmation under penalty of perjury and include:
- A description of the location of the intended new residence, including the state, city, and specific physical address, if known.
- The mailing address of the intended new residence, if not the same as the physical address, if known.
- The home telephone number of the intended new residence, if known.
- The date of the intended move or proposed relocation.
- A detailed statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation. If one of the reasons is based upon a job offer that has been reduced to writing, the written job offer must be attached to the petition.
- A proposal for the revised postrelocation schedule for access and time-sharing together with a proposal for the postrelocation transportation arrangements necessary to effectuate time-sharing with the child. Absent the existence of a current, valid order abating, terminating, or restricting access or time-sharing or other good cause predating the petition, failure to comply with this provision renders the petition to relocate legally insufficient.
- Substantially the following statement, in all capital letters and in the same size type, or larger, as the type in the remainder of the petition:
A RESPONSE TO THE PETITION OBJECTING TO RELOCATION MUST BE MADE IN WRITING, FILED WITH THE COURT, AND SERVED ON THE PARENT OR OTHER PERSON SEEKING TO RELOCATE WITHIN 20 DAYS AFTER SERVICE OF THIS PETITION TO RELOCATE. IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY OBJECT TO THE RELOCATION, THE RELOCATION WILL BE ALLOWED, UNLESS IT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD, WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE AND WITHOUT A HEARING.
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