Can I Move with My Child?

In Florida, relocation is addressed by law in Florida Statutes Section 61.13001. Once a child’s residence is officially entered in an order, neither parent may relocate with the child. Relocation is a move to a location that is more than 50 miles away from their principle residence for a period longer than 60 days. If you wish to relocate with the child, you may do so by either obtaining the agreement of the other parent or by filing a petition with the court. You should be aware, however, that a petition for relocation is not easily won. The court will consider many factors including:

  • The nature and quality of the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent
  • The age, developmental state, and needs of the child and the likely impact relocation will have
  • The likelihood of maintaining a relationship with the non-relocating parent if the relocation were to be granted
  • The substitute time-sharing arrangement that is proposed by the relocating parent
  • The child’s preference if he or she is of sufficient age and maturity
  • Whether the relocation will enhance the child’s quality of life
  • The reasons the relocating parent wishes to move
  • The economic and financial circumstances of both parents
  • Whether the relocation is sought in good faith
  • The non-relocating parent’s career and other opportunities if the relocation is granted
  • Any history of domestic violence, abuse, or substance use and/or abuse

When considering relocation during or after a divorce it is important to remember that it is easy to prove why you wish to move, but it may not be so simple to convince a judge why your child must move, too.