Good news: You have just been offered a job in another state, with great pay and opportunities for advancement. Not-so-good news: If you are a divorced parent with court ordered time-sharing schedule for your child or children, you may have to jump a few hurdles before you can get out there and start climbing the corporate ladder.
In order to relocate your child or children 50 miles or more from the residence that existed at the time of the divorce, a parent has two choices:
- Obtain the written consent of all parties who are entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child or children
- Petition the court for approval to move
If you are fortunate enough to have a time-sharing arrangement where the parties are inclined to be amicable, the Florida child relocation statute requires only that you submit their written consent to the court for ratification. The agreement must include a time-sharing schedule for each interested party and a description of the transportation arrangements related to the time-sharing. So long as none of the parties requests a hearing within 10 days after the document is submitted, the court may deem that the move is in the best interest of the child and approve the move or relocation.
If, on the other hand, the outlook for obtaining consent is not so rosy, the road to elsewhere may be a bit bumpier. Your family law attorney needs to file a Petition to relocate with the court, and have it served on the other parent or anyone else entitled to access to or time-sharing with the child — all of whom have the opportunity to respond with an objection within 20 days. If someone does object, the court holds a hearing and makes a decision. But if no one objects, and the court finds no reason to deny your petition, you and your children will be free to go.