Family Law Relocation

In family law, relocation refers to a change in location of the principal residence of a parent or other person 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 in the location must be at least 50 miles away that 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 date of the intended move or relocation, a detailed statement of specific reasons for the relocation, and a proposed time-sharing plan with certain required elements. 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 following:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent and extended family
  • The age and developmental stage of the child, the child’s needs and the likely impact of the relocation
  • The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the child and his or her parents after the proposed relocation
  • 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 and often time sensitive nature of relocating actions, absent good cause, these cases are required to be tried by 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.

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