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Protecting Your Child's Best Interests

Jacksonville Parental Relocation Lawyers

Thinking of Relocating with Your Child?

At Owenby Law, P.A., our Jacksonville family law attorneys assist parents who need to relocate their residency with their children, as well as parents who are fighting the relocation of their children to distant geographic locations. The state of Florida makes child relocation difficult—although not impossible—without the consent of the other parent.

For years, our legal team has successfully argued the merits of these disputed moves for our clients in the Florida courts. If you are in a child custody dispute that revolves around relocation, you need a Jacksonville child custody attorney from out firm to argue your case and guide you step-by-step through the process.

Take immediate action! Call (904) 770-3141 to schedule a free initial consultation.

What Is Considered Relocation?

Florida law defines "relocation" as moving 50 miles or more from a current residence, for at least 60 days. If a parent wants to relocate with a child, they must sign a written agreement with the other parent that describes the terms of the move and the new custody arrangement. The agreement must include:

  • A time-sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent
  • How transportation will be handled during visitation periods

Child Relocation Laws in Florida

Generally, moving your child from one residence to another within the same county, or even to an adjacent county, does not require a court order or specific permission from the other parent. If, on the other hand, the move takes the child more than 50 miles away from the other parent, the relocation requires either a written agreement between the parents or a court order.

If one of the parents objects to the move, the attorney of the parent who wishes to move must file a petition for relocation through the courts. The objecting parent may either respond to the petition or do nothing. If they fail to act, the petition will automatically be approved. If there is a continued objection, the court will consider a number of factors in determining whether or not to allow the relocation.

Some of these determining factors include:

  • Relationships with people close to the child
  • How the move will affect the child's emotional development
  • The ability of the non-relocating parent to visit via modified arrangements
  • The child's input if he or she is of an appropriate age and mental state
  • The reasons behind the relocation request
  • The reasons behind the objection to the move
  • Whether or not the move would involve improved educational or employment opportunities
  • Any documented history of domestic violence

If both parents agree that the move is in the best interest of the child, they should still file a signed relocation agreement and modify the visitation schedule.

Filing a Petition for Relocation

If the parents cannot agree to relocation terms, the parent wishing to relocate must file a petition with the court and serve it on the other parent.

The petition must include:

  • Address and phone number of the new home
  • Date of proposed relocation
  • Reason for relocation
  • Proposed visitation schedule
  • Proposed plan for transportation

The non-relocating parent has 20 days to respond to a petition; if they don’t, the court may grant the relocation request without a hearing. The response should include the reasons why the move shouldn’t be allowed.

Helping You Pursue Your Relocation Goals

If you are seeking a parental relocation, and the co-parent agrees, you should have an experienced child custody lawyer review your agreement and file the modification. We will create a results-driven strategy for your relocation case thanks to our team-based approach to family law cases. Our mission is to secure the results you need to pursue your relocation goals.

For more information about parental relocation, give our office a call as soon as possible: (904) 770-3141.

The Benefits of Hiring Owenby Law, P.A.

  • Free Initial Consultations
  • Successfully Handled Thousands of Cases
  • Backed by Over 18 Years of Experience
  • Personalized, Results-Oriented Representation
  • A Team of Compassionate Advocates On Your Side
  • Flexible Payment Plans Available