In the family law context, relocation refers to a change in the child’s residence after entry of an order, when change is at least 50 miles away from the child’s last residence, and for at least 60 consecutive days, not including certain temporary absences.
When parents do not agree to relocation, the parent seeking to relocate with the child must file a Petition to Relocate. The Petition must meet certain requirements, including information on the parent’s new address, the reason for relocation, and a proposed time-sharing plan. If a parent relocates a child without complying with the law, that parent may be subject to serious penalties.
When deciding whether to permit a parent to relocate with a child, the Court shall consider a number of factors including, but not limited to, the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s needs, the preservation of a relationship between the child and his or her parents, whether relocation will affect the child’s quality of life, and several other important considerations that may affect the best interests of the child.
The parent seeking to relocate must establish that relocation is in the child’s best interests. If that parent meets his or her burden, the other parent must then show that the relocation is not in the best interest of the child.
Because of the significance of relocating with a child, these cases are required to be tried before the court within 90 days of filing a Notice of Trial. Thus, it is imperative that you seek legal advice if you or your spouse have filed or are going to file a Petition to Relocate. If you would like to receive more information regarding relocation, please contact our office in Naples, Florida to schedule a confidential consultation with our attorneys.