Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.
Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach And Wellington, Florida Offices 561-328-1095

Child Relocation in Florida

iStock_000009424462_Small.jpgIn Florida, child relocation is defined as a change in the location of the principal residence of a parent from his or her principal place of residence at the time of filing the pending action to establish or modify time-sharing or at the time of the last order establishing or modifying time-sharing. The change of location must be at least 50 miles from that residence. In Dickson v. Dickson, the Court of Appeal recently decided a case where the parties were married in 2003. At the time of their divorce, they had one minor child. The final judgment in 2011 provided that the child would primarily live with the mother in Lake County, but would stay with the father Wednesday nights and alternating weekends. The judgment did not prohibit relocation, however, it gave the parties shared parental responsibility. In 2014, the mother decided to move from Lake County.

The father objected to the child relocation. The trial court determined that the mother violated the final judgment by relocating. The Court of Appeal held that the mother's move did not violate the final judgment or the relocation statute. The final judgment did not expressly prohibit the move.

Further, section 61.13001(e) defines relocation of a child as a change in the location of the principal residence of a parent from his or her principal place of residence at the time of the last order establishing or modifying time-sharing, or at the time of filing the pending action to establish or modify time-sharing. The change of location must be at least 50 miles from that residence.

Absent a statute or contractual provision to the contrary, the proper method to measure the distance between two points is the straight-line or as the crow flies measure. In Dickson v. Dickson, the mother moved forty-nine miles using the straight-line test. Therefore, the mother was not required to file a petition to relocate pursuant to section 61.13001 before she relocated to a different county forty-nine miles away.

To speak with a Palm Beach County child relocation attorney, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.

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