So what is relocation? Can my ex say I relocated when I am on vacation? What if I move around the corner? What if I usually travel for work?
The Short answer is: No, you cannot violate the relocation statute if you go on vacation. You can still go on your vacation without violating the relocation statute, so long as your vacation does not last longer than two (2) months. The Relocation Statute 61.13001(e) defines relocation as:
“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.”
To clarify, there are three factors to consider before triggering the relocation statute. First, the statute must be triggered by a “relocation after the filing of a petition.” To simplify, you must have had a circuit court case either opened and pending or has the circuit court has issued a final order. If you are married and move prior to the date of filing for divorce or paternity action (even if the father has signed the birth certificate), you have not triggered the relocation statute. The date of filing is the triggering factor. If you move after the date of filing of either a paternity or divorce petition, without permission from the other parent, you may be relocating in violation of the relocation statute. If you have a court ordered parenting plan (temporary or permanent) and then move, you may be violating the relocation statute. If you plan to move, contact an experienced relocation attorney for guidance prior to your move.
The other two triggering factors are “the number of miles” away you relocate AND “the amount of time you are gone from your residence.” For your relocation to trigger the relocation statute, your move MUST be 50 miles from your residence (at the time of your last Court order) AND you are gone for a minimum of 60 days. So, you would have to be relocated more than 50 miles, as the crow flies (in a straight line) for two (2) months before triggering a violation of the relocation statute.
Relocating is a difficult area of law and you should have an attorney who has experience litigating relocation matters. Call me, I can help. Mary A. Cosmo, Esq.