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What If I Want To Move During My Divorce?

ByThe Spence Law Firm Aug. 23, 2020

Many times clients need to move with their children to a different area for work or personal reasons and want to bring their children with them. The reasons run the spectrum from wanting a change in scenery to moving to a different city or state to pursue better opportunities. But can one parent take the children and simply move away without the other parent’s permission? Consult with an Orlando relocation lawyer and like most answers to legal questions, the answer is: It depends.

Florida Statutes Section 61.13001 Controls Relocation

Relocation claims are controlled by Florida Statutes sect. 61.13001. Whether a parent can freely relocate with the children depends on whether or not there is or has been a court proceeding filed to determine the children’s residence or a parenting plan for the children. If there is no previous order or judgment regarding the children or no pending divorce case or paternity case, then there is nothing that prevents the custodial parent from relocating anywhere they want to go. On the other hand, if there is a pending court case or previous order, determining the child’s residence, then the custodial parent may not relocate with the children unless the court enters an order allowing the relocation. As used in the statute, “relocate” means to move more than 50 miles away from the home address at the time the action was filed or the address at the date of the previous judgment. Alternatively, the parents may sign a written agreement allowing the custodial parent to relocate with the children.

Standing Orders Prohibit Relocation During the Case

Bear in mind that most Florida courts, including those in Orange County, Seminole County and Osceola County use a “standing order" that automatically goes into effect once the opposing party is served with the summons and petition. The various standing orders used by the courts typically prohibit a parent from relocating with the children unless the court signs an order allowing the move. The process to obtain an order allowing relocation is to file a petition with the circuit court where you live to allow relocation. Because these types of cases typically require an outcome on a fairly short time frame, the statutes states that petitions for relocation should be advanced on the court’s calendar. In short, Florida Family Law limits a parent’s right to move or relocate out of the area with the children; however, it is possible under certain circumstances.

Orlando Relocation Attorney Available for Free Consultation

Contact the Spence Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.