An Overview of Florida’s Child Relocation Law
A parent who has sole custody of their child can move to a new community without restrictions. However, if you have shared custody, there are strict rules in place regarding “relocation” of a child. You must follow the proper procedures before moving more than 50 miles away from your current residence. Here, our Tampa child custody attorneys discuss the most important things parents need to know about Florida’s child relocation statute.
The ‘50’ Mile and ‘60’ Day Rule
In Florida, relocation of a child is defined as a move that is more than 50 miles away for at least 60 days (Florida Statutes § 61.13001). Shorter moves are not subject to the state’s relocation law. For example, if you have shared custody of a child and you want to move from Tampa down the road to Brandon, you do not need legal permission to do so.
On the other hand, if you want to move with your child more than 50 miles away—say from Tampa to Orlando—you must follow the proper protocols. Failure to do so could cause serious problems for you and your family. In the very worst cases, it may even lead to you losing primary physical custody of your child.
Two Options for Child Relocation in Florida
As was mentioned, parents with sole custody do not need to worry about Florida’s relocation statute. The law only applies to children who are under the jurisdiction of the court or a subject to a time-sharing agreement. If you have split custody and you want to move more than 50 miles away with your child, you have two options available:
- Parental Agreement: Your most straightforward option is to get consent from the other parent. If the child’s other parent is willing to sign a consent agreement allowing you to relocate, it will almost always be accepted by the court—at least assuming a relocation agreement is properly drafted. Make sure such an agreement includes a workable time-sharing schedule and a detailed transportation plan.
- Court Approval: If your former partner refuses to consent to a relocation, you are not necessarily out of luck. Quite the contrary, you have the right to petition the court to approve the relocation. In doing so, you must be prepared to prove that the proposed relocation is actually in the best interests of your child.
While obtaining a consent agreement is generally the most efficient, effective way to relocate a child, it is obviously not possible in every case. If you are considering petitioning the court to allow a relocation, you should consult with an experienced Florida custody lawyer right away.
Contact Our Tampa Child Custody Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our Florida family law attorneys have the skills and experience to represent parents in child relocation cases. To set up a completely confidential, no obligation review of your case, please contact us today. From our office location in Tampa, we represent parents all over Hillsborough County, including in Valrico, Ruskin, Brandon, Temple Terrace, Gibsonton, and Thonotosassa.