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Marital and Family Law Attorney

Child Relocation FAQs


Miami Attorneys Skilled in Family Law Matters

Moving to another county or state may become complicated when you share custody of a child. If your co-parent or you wish to relocate, it is prudent to consult an attorney to discuss your options. Miami child custody lawyer Sandy T. Fox is a Florida Bar Board Certified specialist in Marital & Family Law. He is dedicated to helping parents navigate the process of child relocation.

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How Far Can a Parent With Joint Custody Move Before It Is Considered a Relocation?

For a move to be considered a relocation, it must be to a location that is a minimum of 50 miles from the prior residence, and it must last for at least 60 consecutive days. Temporary departures from a principal residence for vacation or for education or health purposes are not considered relocations.

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How Does a Parent Obtain Permission to Relocate?

A parent can obtain permission to relocate either by entering into a written agreement with the child’s co-parent or by filing a petition with the court. If the parties draft a written agreement, it must state that the co-parent and any other person with access or time-sharing rights consent to the relocation. It must also set forth the time-sharing or access schedule for the parent who is not relocating and, if necessary, describe any transportation arrangements. If there is an existing action, decree, or judgment related to the residence of the child or a time-sharing schedule, the agreement must be ratified by the court.

If the parents do not agree to the relocation, the parent seeking the relocation must file a petition to relocate with the court and serve it on the other parent. It must state the date of the intended move, the intended address, the reason for the move, and a proposal for a revised access and time-sharing schedule and transportation arrangement.

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Can I Stop My Child’s Co-Parent from Relocating My Child?

A parent can attempt to prevent a co-parent from relocating by filing an objection to the petition to relocate. The objection must set forth the factual basis for objecting to the relocation, including an assertion regarding the involvement of the non-relocating parent in the child’s life. Furthermore, the objection must be filed within 20 days after the petition was served on the objecting party; otherwise, it may be considered untimely. If no objection is filed, or if an objection is untimely, the court will presume that relocation is in the child’s best interest and should be permitted. In cases in which a timely objection is filed, the court will conduct a hearing to determine if relocation should be permitted.

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When Do Courts Permit the Relocation of a Child?

Courts may permit the relocation of a child if the relocation is in the child’s best interest. The party seeking the relocation bears the burden of proving that it should be granted. Factors that a court will weigh in determining whether a party should be permitted to relocate a child include the impact of the move on the child’s educational, emotional, and physical development, the child’s preference, each parent’s reasons for seeking or objecting to the relocation, and the extent and nature of each parent’s involvement with the child. A court may also consider each parent’s economic and employment situation and whether the relocation will improve the quality of life for the child and relocating parent.

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Can a Mother Move With a Child Without the Father’s Permission?

Under Florida law, the mother of a child born out of wedlock has the right to relocate the child without the father’s permission. The mother is deemed the guardian of the child and is entitled to primary custody and residential care of the child, unless a court enters an order dictating otherwise. Thus, in instances in which a child’s paternity, and there are no pending paternity or custody actions, the child’s mother has the right to determine where the child lives and whether the child’s primary residence should be relocated.

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Discuss Your Situation With a Miami Attorney

If you want to move, or if your child’s other parent wants to move, the child custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A., can help you determine how to proceed to safeguard your rights and the interests of your child. Our attorneys help people with child relocation matters in Miami and the surrounding cities. You can contact us to schedule a meeting by calling 800.596.0579 or using our form online.

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