Following the Florida Legislature’s passing of Florida Statute 61.13001, the Relocation Laws in the State of Florida have been modified. For the past twenty years, there has been a trend in the state of Florida which liberally allowed custodial parent to relocate based upon a showing that it was in the minor child’s best interests. The laws gradually changed and were made more and more complicated and based upon the Florida Legislature’s decision to eliminate the designation of Custody and establish Timesharing and Parenting Plans in all cases, the courts have now made it extremely difficult for a parent to relocate with their children.
At this time, the Florida Statute has to be strictly construed and it allows for a Relocation of a Notice of Intent to Relocate is served upon the other parent and they fail to respond. In that instance their failure to file a response results in a default or a consent to relocation.
The petition to relocate has to be very specific. In fact, the petition must include a date of the intended relocation, a Proposed Alternate Relocation Timesharing Schedule and specificity regarding the transportation costs from the new destination and the other parent’s residence.
The new Statute requires that the Statute should be followed in all cases in which the parent desires to relocate in excess of 45 miles from their previous residence.
In the event the Statute is followed, and the responding parent objects to a relocation it is necessary for that parent to serve the written responses upon the parent attempting to relocate. If they fail to serve the responses as required by the Statute, then a consent to the relocation may still be entered.
If both parties strictly comply with Florida Statute 61.13001, then the matter is scheduled for a hearing and a trial conducted to determine whether or not the Relocation should be entered.
Based upon the latest trends, it appears that many Judges have been moving away form allowing relocations. However, if a case is properly prepared and the Statue is followed properly a relocation can be approved.