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Do I Need Permission to Move More than 50 Miles if I am a Custodial Parent?


The State of Florida has a relocation statute that is found in Florida Statutes § 61.13001. To answer the question bluntly, the answer is “yes”. You must file a petition to relocate if you plan on moving more than 50 miles away from your current address and you have a minor child. If you have a minor child, you must get the permission of the other parent and the court must sign off on the agreement before you move. This condition applies to both the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent. A Tampa, FL child custody attorney can help answer any questions you may have concerning a move of more than 50 miles away from your current address.

The petition to relocate 

Florida’s relocation statute requires that (unless there is an agreement between the two parties) a parent with time-sharing rights who is seeking relocation must file a petition to relocate and serve it to the other parent. The petition to relocate must meet the following requirements:

  • The petition to relocate must be signed under oath
  • The whereabouts of the relocation including city, state, and specific address
  • The date of the move
  • The home telephone number of the new address
  • A statement regarding the specific reasons for the intended relocation. If the reason is a job offer, then the job offer must be attached to the petition
  • A new proposal outlining the post-relocation visitation schedule for access and time-sharing of the children

What happens if one parent blocks the relocation? 

A response to the petition objecting a relocation must be made in writing, filed with the court, and then served to the parent who is seeking relocation. If a parent fails to object to the relocation within 20 days of the petition, then the relocation will be allowed unless it is not in the best interests of the child.

A parent may not relocate the child without first getting court permission. This is where the 50-mile rule fits in. A parent may not move more than 50 miles away from their current address without filing a petition with the court. If a parent relocates a child without filing a petition with the court, that parent can be found in contempt of court. The court will issue an order to compel the return of the child and the unlawful relocation may be taken into consideration when deciding other matters as well.

The court will expect the parents to revise their parenting plan after the relocation. The court will need to see the revised parenting plan in writing when granting a petition to relocate. The court only considers the best interests of the children when granting these petitions. A Tampa, FL family lawyer can help you through the process of relocating with minor children.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Family Lawyer Today 

Westchase Law, P.A. represents the interests of parents who are relocating with minor children. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin addressing your needs immediately.

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