Relocation Agreement With Child
by TL from Navarre, Florida, Santa Rosa County
My wife and stepson are moving to Mississippi from Florida due to the Air Force relocating me.
Do I have to petition the court to move my son and what paperwork do I have to submit?
Answer to Florida Divorce Question
As with all legal parental matters, there is not an easy answer to your question because it strongly depends on the other party(s) involved and any existing court orders.
If you are a custodial parent who plans to move more than 50 miles away, then you must follow certain procedures.
Have a look at the Florida State Court's website for the Supreme Court approved form Long Distance Parenting Plan
According to Florida’s new parental relocation statute §61.13001
, you must either get a written agreement from all parties entitled to visitation (this could include grandparents if court ordered) with the child, or you have to file and serve a Notice of Intent to Relocate with the court.
With the written permission of all parties entitled to visitation the hard part is over, but that is not the end of the matter.
An informal agreement will not work by itself. According to statutes, the agreement must be in writing
and include consents to relocate the child and it must define further visitation rights for those that are not moving, and even describe, if necessary, transportation arrangements related to the visitation.
Have a look at Form 12.950(a)
, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form, Agreement For Relocation With Minor Children.
If there is a court order that exists, then this agreement must be ratified by the court in order to essentially amend the original court order.
In order to do this, the written agreement must be properly filed with the original court using a Notice of Intent to
Relocate With a Child which must include the following information:
First, it must list each reason for the proposed relocation in detail (ie: better schools, job change, financial reasons, etc...). It also must list a proposed visitation schedule.
The other parent or those with visitation rights can either agree or object to the proposed arrangements. They have ten (10) days from the date of filing to object.
If no objection to the Notice of Relocation is filed, then the court will likely make it a legal modification to the original order.
During the time where the other party can object, the custodial parent cannot remove the child, nor can you physically move to the new location.
In the event the other party objects to the move, a hearing will be scheduled for the court to determine if the move is in the best interest of the child.
This hearing will include among other things the reasons for the move, the time spent between parents, the effect of the move on the child, and any other factor relating to the best interest of the child, before either approving the move or denying to move the child.
As you can see, it is best to try to come to a Relocation Agreement first before you file a Notice of Relocation with the court. Notice:
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