PARENTAL RELOCATION WITH CHILD, Florida Statute, 61.13001.
Before trying to understand the relocation statute, it is important to understand the statutory definitions of “relocation.” Most importantly, you must determine if your situation falls squarely in the definitions located in 61.13001(1)(a)-(e). This statue is very technical and can help you relocate or contest a relocation, depending on your situation. However, if you do not understand this statute and follow the technical requirements, this statute can ruin your plans to relocate or assist the other parent in contesting your relocation. Please get the advice of an experience attorney in this area of law before you go looking to relocate.
“Child” means any person who is under the jurisdiction of a state court pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act or is the subject of any order granting to a parent or other person any right to time-sharing, residential care, kinship, or custody, as provided under state law.
“Court” means the circuit court in an original proceeding which has proper venue and jurisdiction in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the circuit court in the county in which either parent and the child reside, or the circuit court in which the original action was adjudicated.
“Other person” means an individual who is not the parent, but with whom the child resides pursuant to court order, or who has the right of access to, time-sharing with, or visitation with the child.
“Parent” means any person so named by court order or express written agreement who is subject to court enforcement, or a person reflected as a parent on a birth certificate and who is entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child.
“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.
RELOCATION BY AGREEMENT. 61.13001. If the parents and every other person entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child agree to the relocation of the child, they may satisfy the requirements of this section by signing a written agreement that: 1) Reflects consent to the relocation; 2) Defines an access or time-sharing schedule for the nonrelocating parent and any other persons who are entitled to access or time-sharing; and 3) Describes, if necessary, any transportation arrangements related to access or time-sharing.
PETITION TO RELOCATE.
PETITION TO RELOCATE. 61.13001(3)—Unless the parties have agreement as to the relocation, a parent or other 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: 1) A description of the location of the intended new residence, including the state, city, and specific physical address, if known. 2) The mailing address of the intended new residence, if not the same as the physical address, if known. 3)The home telephone number of the intended new residence, if known. 4) The date of the intended move or proposed relocation. 5) 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. 6) A proposal for the revised post relocation schedule for access and time-sharing together with a proposal for the post relocation 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. 7) 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.”
FAILURE TO FILE A PROPER RESPONSE AFTER SERVICE OF PETITION TO RELOCATE. If the other parent and any other person entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child fails to timely file a response objecting to the petition to relocate, it is presumed that the relocation is in the best interest of the child and that the relocation should be allowed, and the court shall, absent good cause, enter an order specifying that the order is entered as a result of the failure to respond to the petition and adopting the access and time-sharing schedule and transportation arrangements contained in the petition. The order may be issued in an expedited manner without the necessity of an evidentiary hearing. If a response is timely filed, the parent or other person may not relocate, and must proceed to a temporary hearing or trial and obtain court permission to relocate.
RELOCATING WITHOUT STATOTORY COMPLIANCE
Relocating the child without complying with the requirements of this subsection subjects the party in violation to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child and may be taken into account by the court in any initial or post-judgment action seeking a determination or modification of the parenting plan or the access or time-sharing schedule as: 1) A factor in making a determination regarding the relocation of a child. 2) A factor in determining whether the parenting plan or the access or time-sharing schedule should be modified. 3) A basis for ordering the temporary or permanent return of the child. 4) Sufficient cause to order the parent or other person seeking to relocate the child to pay reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees incurred by the party objecting to the relocation. 5) Sufficient cause for the award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, including interim travel expenses incident to access or time-sharing or securing the return of the child.
OBJECTION TO RELOCATION.
An answer objecting to a proposed relocation must be verified and include the specific factual basis supporting the reasons for seeking a prohibition of the relocation, including a statement of the amount of participation or involvement the objecting party currently has or has had in the life of the child.
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