In 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.
In a recent paternity case captioned Perez v. Fay, the Florida Court of Appeal stated that a parent has a constitutionally protected right to a meaningful relationship with his child. Time-sharing privileges should not be denied to either parent as long as the parent conducts himself, while in the presence of the child, in a manner which will not adversely affect the child. Because of the constitutional right to a meaningful parent-child relationship, there must be substantial evidence in the record that demonstrates that any restrictions on time-sharing are in the best interests of the child before those restrictions will be upheld. In Perez v. Fay, there was no evidence that the parent had conducted themselves during their supervised time-sharing in any manner that would adversely affect the parties' child. However, the trial court reduced the parent's time-sharing with the child from two to three hours per week to only four hours per month. This drastic reduction in the parent's time-sharing was reversed by the Court of Appeal.