Custodial Parental Relocation in Florida

Parental relocation with a minor child is governed in Florida through the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and Florida Statute §61.13001.

Relocation is often a necessary part of life. People move for many reasons – additional family support, new job opportunities, or for a simple change of scenery. When children are involved; however, and one parent wants to relocate, things can become complicated.

It will be important to talk with an experienced family law attorney about how the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act can affect your decision to relocate your family.

Lawyer for Parental Relocation in Florida

If you or someone you know wants to relocate with a minor child, but under Florida law, they cannot, or if you are a non-custodial parent and a co-parent is attempting to move out of State with your child, contact an experienced family law attorney at Bacchus Law Firm for help.

Having practiced family law for years, our attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm understand that co-parenting can be a battle. With an experienced family lawyer to explain the process and your parental rights under Florida law, those battles may not be as stressful.

Our attorneys have been fighting on behalf of parents for their parental rights for years. We take cases throughout the Miami-metropolitan area in counties like Hendry County, Palm Beach County, Collier County, and Miami-Dade County, FL.

With offices are centrally located on Southeast 3rd Ave, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse we take cases throughout South Florida. If you have a family law issue in Miami, West Palm Beach, East Naples, or LaBelle, Florida, then contact our firm immediately.

Call (954) 500-5555 to schedule a no obligations consultation with our family law attorneys.

Broward County Establishing Paternity in Florida Information Center

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The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)

The UCCJEA was introduced in 1968 to discourage interstate kidnapping among co-parents. Interstate kidnapping is essentially one parent, usually the non-custodial parent, traveling across state lines without proper authorization.

By 1981, every state in the U.S. had adopted the law – understanding the importance of uniformity in child rearing. The purpose behind the organization was two-fold: (1) to establish jurisdiction regarding custody in one state, known as the "home state"; and (2) to protect the order of that state from any modification in another state, as long as the original state retains jurisdiction in other cases. 

Thus, in order for one parent to relocate his or her child, he or she must go through the child's home state to modify the terms of the custody agreement.

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Relocation by Agreement in Florida

Florida Statute § 61.13001 allows for relocating a minor child by agreement. The Law states that if the parents or any person entitled to access to the minor child agrees to relocate the child, then they must sign an agreement that states the following:

  • defines an access or time-sharing schedule for the nonrelocating parent and any other persons who are entitled to time with the minor child;
  • the agreement must also reflect consent to the relocation; and
  • describe, if needed, any transportation arrangements related to access or time-sharing.

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Florida Petition to Relocate

If a custodial parent would like to relocate and has not been able to do so with an agreement, then the parent must file a petition to relocate and serve it upon the other parent or any other person entitled to access or time-sharing with the child. The petition must be signed under oath and must include the following:

  • a description of the location of the intended new residence, including the city, state, and physical address, if known;
  • the home telephone number of the new residence, if known;
  • the mailing address of the intended new residence, if not the same as physical;
  • the date of the intended move or proposed relocation;
  • a detailed statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation; if one of the reasons includes a job offer that has been reduced to writing, the job offer must be attached to the petition;
  • a proposal for the revised post-relocation schedule for access and time-sharing with a proposal for transportation arrangements; and
  • a statement required by statute to inform the petition recipient, in all caps, that a response to the petition objecting to the relocation must be made in writing, filed with the court, and served on the parent within twenty (20) days after the petition to relocate was served.

Failing to include any of the above in any petition to relocate a minor child may render the petition legally insufficient.

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Objecting to Relocation in Florida

If a parent objects to their child's relocation, the party must answer to the petition to relocate within twenty days of being served, and the objection must be verified and include a specific factual basis supporting the reasons for seeking a prohibition of the relocation.  The objection must also be accompanied by a statement regarding the participation or involvement that the objecting party currently has or has had in the child's life.

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Penalties for Relocating a Child without Authorization

If a parent relocates a child without complying with the requirements of Florida Statute §61.13001, he or she may be found to be in contempt of court and other proceedings to compel the child's return may be taken into account in any initial or post-judgment action seeking to modify a parenting or child-sharing agreement.

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Additional Resources

61.13001 F.S. – Visit Online Sunshine, the Florida Legislature's website with the complete statutory language regarding relocation a minor child, including the process for petitioning the court and the process for objecting to a child's relocation.

History of the UCCJEA – The Uniform Law Commission's purpose is to promote uniformity in the law among the several states on subjects that require, or make uniformity desirable.  The ULC provides a history of the and the rationale behind enacting a law across the states regarding child relocation and kidnapping.

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Attorney for Child Relocation Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know has relocated with a minor child without authorization or you know someone who has valid grounds for relocation but is facing objection, then contact the experienced family law attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm.

We have years of experience representing clients in multiple family law matters, including child custody, time-sharing agreements, and other child support matters. We take cases throughout the Miami-metropolitan area in counties like Collier County, Hendry County, Palm Beach County, and Miami-Dade County, FL.

Call (954) 500-5555 now for more information.

This Article Was Last Updated on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

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