Florida statute 61.13001 governs parental relocation with a child. This statute was enacted to prevent unilateral relocation. The party wanting to relocate with the child must file a notice of intent to relocate and the party opposing it must file an objection to relocation. It is very important to be very detailed with these pleadings because the smallest thing can make either pleading defective.
Relocation means a change in the location of the principle residence of a parent or other person from his or her principle 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 in location must be at least 50 miles from that residence and for at least 60 consecutive days, not including a temporary absence from the principle residence for purposes of vacation, education, or the provision of healthcare for the child.
The parties can agree to relocation. It should be in writing. Relocating the child without complying with the requirements of this subsection subjects the party in violation to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child and may be taken into account by the court in any initial or post-judgment action seeking a determination or modification of the parenting plan or the access or time-sharing schedule.
The court may grant a temporary order restraining the relocation of a child, order the return of the child if a relocation has previously taken place, or order other appropriate remedial relief, if the court finds certain things. If a court has issued a temporary order authorizing a party seeking to relocate or move a child before a final judgment is rendered, the court may not give any weight to the temporary relocation as a factor in reaching its final decision. If temporary relocation of a child is approved, the court may require the person relocating the child to provide reasonable security, financial or otherwise, and guarantee that the court ordered contact with the child will not be interrupted or interfered with by the relocating party.
The burden of proof: The parent or other person wishing to relocate has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that relocation is in the best interest of the child. If that burden of proof is met, the burden shifts to the non-relocating parent or other person to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the proposed relocation is not in the best interest of the child.
Kenny Leigh and Associates is a family law firm that exclusively represents men.