In a child relocation proceeding, the court may only order temporary relocation where the relocating parent files and serves a petition. In Milton v. Milton, the Florida Court of Appeal stated that: “This Court reviews relocation determinations for abuse of discretion; however, the question of whether the trial court properly applied the relocation statute is a matter of law, reviewed de novo. Raulerson v. Wright, 60 So. 3d 487, 489 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011). Here, Mr. Milton relies on section 61.13001, Florida Statutes, and Raulerson, to assert that because Mrs. Milton did not comply with section 61.13001, the trial court erred in permitting the child’s relocation, even if temporary.
He is correct. Section 61.13001(3)(a) unambiguously requires that, absent agreement of both parents, a parent wishing to relocate file a petition and the petition be served on the other parent. §61.13OO1(3),Fla. Stat. Only where the relocating parent files a proper petition may the court order temporary relocation pending final determination. § 61.13001 (6)(b). This Court has previously made clear that these requirements are unambiguous and are “a clear statutory mandate.” Raulerson, 60 So. 3d at 490; see also Rivero v. Rivero, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D811, 2013 WL 1439731 (Fla. 4th DCA Apr. 10, 2013). Here, there was no such agreement or petition. And, Mrs. Milton does not contest that she and the child relocated to New York. Accordingly, she is subject “to contempt and other proceedings to compel the return of the child”; additionally, the court may grant other relief, including restraining relocation or ordering the child’s return. § 61.13001(3)(e),(6)(a),Fla. Stat. Therefore, the trial court erred in permitting the minor child’s temporary relocation pending final determination. See Raulerson, 60 So. 3d at 490.”
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