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Navigating Relocation Laws in Florida

Posted by LEISA WINTZ | Mar 18, 2024 | 0 Comments

Are you considering relocating to a new city or state with your child from Florida? If so, it's important to understand the complex laws and procedures that govern relocations in the state. In a recent episode of Family Matters on Sundays Live, Leisa and Nazarena delved into the intricacies of relocation laws in Florida, shedding light on the requirements, procedures, and key considerations involved in such cases.

What Is a Relocation?

In the state of Florida, a relocation is defined as a move of more than 50 miles from a parent's current residence. Importantly, this applies when there is an existing court order or a pending case related to timesharing or custody. Whether the move is initiated by a parent or a non-parent with custody or timesharing rights, the relocation statute comes into play, requiring specific legal procedures to be followed.

Procedural Requirements

The relocation process involves multiple procedural requirements, including filing a petition to relocate, serving the other parent, and obtaining a response within 20 days. It's crucial to note that the response should adhere to specific guidelines set by the statute, making legal representation essential in these cases.

Factors Influencing Relocation Decisions

When considering a relocation, it's essential to understand that the court evaluates numerous factors to determine whether the move is in the best interest of the child. These include financial considerations, the child's ties to the current community, the impact on the child's well-being, and the willingness of the relocating parent to facilitate the child's relationship with the other parent. Additionally, the court weighs factors such as employment opportunities, child preferences (in the case of older children), and any history of substance abuse or domestic violence.

Temporary and Final Relocation Hearings

Temporary relocation hearings should occur within 30 days of filing a request, while final hearings are expected within 90 days. However, logistical challenges in court scheduling often affect these timelines. It's important to note that temporary relocation approval does not guarantee a favorable outcome in the final decision, emphasizing the need for comprehensive preparation and legal representation throughout the process.

Potential Challenges and Considerations

Individuals seeking relocation should navigate the sensitive nature of these cases, acknowledging that judges are cautious in making decisions due to the significant impact on the child and the parent-child relationships. Furthermore, factors such as compliance with child support and alimony obligations, history of substance abuse or domestic violence, and the facilitation of the child's relationship with the non-moving parent are critical considerations that can influence the court's decision.

Expert Legal Counsel for Relocation Cases

Given the complexity and stringent nature of relocation laws in Florida, seeking knowledgeable legal counsel is imperative. Boss Ladies, Esq emphasizes that relocations are not a matter suited for self-representation, underlining the need for expert guidance to navigate the intricate legal terrain and optimize one's chances of a successful relocation outcome.

In Conclusion

Relocations in Florida entail a comprehensive understanding of legal requirements, procedural intricacies, and the multifaceted considerations that influence court decisions. As highlighted by Boss Ladies, Esq, these cases demand expert legal counsel to effectively navigate the challenges and secure the best outcome for both the relocating party and, more importantly, the well-being of the child involved.

For more in-depth insights and expert guidance on relocation laws in Florida, reach out to legal professionals who specialize in family law and relocation cases. Stay informed, prepare diligently, and ensure that your relocation endeavors comply with the stringent legal requirements outlined in Florida's relocation statute.

With comprehensive knowledge and expert support, individuals can approach relocations with clarity, preparedness, and a thorough understanding of the legal landscape, ensuring the best possible outcomes for all parties involved.

As you embark on this journey, remember that your child's well-being and the preservation of meaningful parent-child relationships are paramount considerations. By seeking expert legal counsel and adhering to the legal parameters, individuals can navigate relocations in Florida with diligence and respect for the legal process.

About the Author


Leisa Wintz originally began her career as a marriage and family therapist. Ms. Wintz went on to attend law school and started practicing family law in 2009. However, she quickly realized that many family law practices lacked the empathy and compassion she believed were necessary in order to achi...


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