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 child relocation proceeding, when the parties' settlement agreement expressly prohibits a move, the party who seeks to relocate must show a substantial change in circumstances to justify the relocation. In Moore v. McIntosh the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "The trial court erred as a matter of law by modifying the parties' custody arrangement after finding that the parties' relocation to different cities in Okaloosa County, which resulted in each of them living twenty miles from their child's school in Okaloosa County, constituted a substantial change of circumstances.
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.