Before You Start Packing — The Rules of Relocation
Audra Berry-Orring was divorced for two years and separated for a total of six years when she fell in love. She wanted to move far away from her home.
However, before she could do so, she found herself in court trying to explain that her plan to relocate was not only in her best interest, but also in the best interests of her two sons.
The court ruled it would be in the best interests of the children not to be uprooted from their familiar surroundings, and refused to allow Audra to relocate since the children’s father visited often and maintained a separate house in their area for that purpose.
In Florida the law imposes limitations on a parent wanting to relocate. Any parent subject to time sharing who wants to move more than 50 miles away for more than 60 days must petition the court for permission to relocate.
The other parent must respond to the petition within 20 days or the petition is approved, unless the court determines there is clear harm to the interests of the child.
In deciding whether to approve a request to relocate, the court takes into account the nature of the parent’s relationship and involvement in the child’s upbringing, the child’s age, preference, quality of life, parent’s reasons for and against relocation and any other aspect that may be part of the child’s best interests.
The need to file a petition can be avoided if the parents can agree on relocation and how their time sharing will continue.
Your family law attorney can advise you as to your rights when seeking relocation and can help facilitate an agreement between both parents that will avoid putting the kids in the middle of the conflict.