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Relocation of A Spouse In Divorce

A particularly troublesome area of family law concerns a request to relocate by a former spouse with children after the divorce. When a parent wishes to relocate to another state or even another part of the State of Florida, frequent contact with the children is difficult and can become impossible. This problem often occurs when a former spouse has remarried and there is a job offer in another location. The stress of the move and remarriage can to complicate an already stressful situation. Section 61.13001 FL Statute provides a detailed procedure to follow by the parent seeking to move in excess to fifty (50) miles.

The parent seeking to relocate must file a verified Petition to Relocate and serve it on the other parent. Among other things, that parent must allege, among other things, e the following:

  • The location of the intended new residence, including the state, city, and specific physical address, if known;
  • The mailing address of the intended new residence, if not the same as the physical address, if known;
  • The home telephone number of the intended new residence, if known;
  • The date of the intended move or proposed relocation;
  • A detailed statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of the child;
  • If one of the reasons is based upon a job offer which has been reduced to writing, that written job offer must be attached;

A post relocation time sharing schedule setting forth the revised timesharing and transportation necessary to effectuate the timesharing is proposed and filed. If this information is not yet known, there is a duty to update the information. See Section 61.13001 FL Statute.

After service of the Petition to Relocate, the former spouse files a verified answer within 20 days of service, objecting to the relocation request. The court will look at a number of factors when deciding a relocation case. It is important to have complied with the statute requirements. Thus, it is also very important to have an attorney experienced with this ever changing area of the law to defend a relocation request and/or to present it in a manner favorable to the petitioning parent.

See Florida Statute 61.13001 which can be viewed at www.leg.state.fl.us