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Relocation of a Minor

Custody agreements are created so a child can have time with both of their parents. Sometimes, though, the custodial parent will need to move. This can cause the non-custodial parent to lose their visitation rights and impact the relationship they have with their child. 

To protect the custodial rights of the non-relocating parent, Florida requires the relocating parent to file a petition asking permission to move with a child. Moving a child away from their other parent without consent of the court can result in losing custody or being held in contempt.

Brooksville, FL Child Custody Attorney

Do you need assistance drafting a petition for relocation a minor? Is the other parent trying to move with your child without the court’s permission? If so, it’s vital you seek legal representation.

Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. has over a decade of experience in family law. Ashley Aulls has successfully helped numerous clients with relocating minor cases, and he wants to do the same for you. Ashley Aulls values open communication with his clients. He will answer any questions you have and formulate a plan that is in the best interest of you and your child. 

Call (352) 593-4115 to schedule a time to speak with Ashley Aulls more about your case. You can also submit your information in the online contact form. Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. assist clients with child custody issues in communities across Hernando County, Citrus County and Sumter County.


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Relocation of a Minor in Florida

There are times where a custodial parent may have to move and take the child with them. When this happens, it’s likely the child will not be able to continue their visitation schedule with the other parent.

The relocating party is required to file a petition with the court asking for permission. To be considered a relocation, you and the child must be moving at least 50 miles from the current residence and for at least 60 days.

The petition process is simple when both parents agree on the relocation. A written agreement will need to be signed and include the following information:

  • Both parents agree to the relocation
  • A time-sharing schedule for the non-relocating parent
  • Explain how the parents will handle transportation of the child for visitation

When both parents agree to the relocation, they can submit the signed petition to the court and request it be ratified. It’s in your best interest to have an attorney look over the petition before it’s submitted. An attorney can ensure the petition is in your and the child’s best interest, and that you will still receive adequate visitation if you are the non-relocating parent.


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Objection to Relocation

Relocating a minor becomes tricky when one parent doesn’t agree with the move. When this is the case, the parent wishing to move will have to file a petition to relocate with the court and then serve it to the other parent. The petition is required to include the following information: 

  • The address and phone number of where the parent wishes to relocate
  • Date of the proposed move
  • The reason for the relocation
  • Copy of written job offer, if applicable
  • Proposed visitation schedule after relocation
  • Proposed plan for transportation of the child for visitation 

Once the non-relocating parent is served with the petition, they will have 20 days to respond. If the non-relocating parent doesn’t respond within 20 days, the court can grant the relocation without a hearing. If you are a non-relocating parent, it is imperative that you act quickly. An attorney can help you file a response that includes the reason’s why the move shouldn’t be allowed.

The relocating parent is not restricted from moving if the petition is denied, just the child. When a parent relocates with the child without the court’s approval, they are violating the custodial rights of the other parent. This is not something the court takes lightly.

If a parent relocated with the child without the court’s approval, a judge could find them in contempt of court. The judge will also take the move into account and may choose to order the parent to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees, modify the custody arrangement in favor of the other parent or impose other sanctions.


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Factors in Granting Relocation

When both parents do not agree to the relocation, the parent who wishes to move with the child will have the opportunity to prove how the move could benefit the child. The benefits, though, must outweigh the harms of reducing the non-relocating parent’s relationship with the child.

When the court is deciding to grant a relocation order, they will always keep the best interest of the child in mind. The court will consider several factors when deciding in the child’s best interest. These factors include the following:

  • Child’s age and current needs
  • Child’s relationship with both parents
  • The impact the move would have on the child’s development
  • Preferences of the child
  • The ability to maintain a relationship between the non-relocating parent and the child
  • Cost to maintain visitation between the non-relocating parent and the child
  • If the move will improve the lives of the parent and child
  • The non-relocating parent’s reason for the relocation
  • If the relocating parent is moving for reasons of good faith
  • Whether the non-relocating parent has complied with child support or alimony payments
  • Other factors affecting the child’s best interest

If you are a relocating parent, you should contact legal representation. You will be burdened with proving the move is in the child’s best interest. This is not an easy task and will require the assistance of a family law attorney. 


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Additional Resource for Relocation of a Minor

Parental Relocation with a Child | Florida Statutes – Follow this link to read the section of the Florida Statutes that govern relocation of a minor. You can read the precise legal definition of relocation, learn about temporary orders and find a complete list of determining factors. The code can be read on Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature.

Relocation of Minor Petition Instructions – View a PDF provided by Florida Courts.org to find out how an agreement petition is filed. You can also find out when the petition should be used, view an example of the petition and where you can go for more information.


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Hernando County Child Custody Lawyer

Now is not the time to be idle if you have been served with a petition to relocate your child. If you do not act within 20 days, the court could approve the relocation without hearing your concerns.

Ashley Aulls understands how important your children are to you, and that is why he wants to help. To schedule a time to speak with Ashley Aulls more about your case, call (352) 593-4115 or submit your information in the online contact form. Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. assist clients in Hernando County, Sumter County and Citrus County.


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Ashley Aulls

This website was created solely for general information purposes. It is not intended to provide official legal counsel for any situation. Only a licensed attorney in Florida can provide you with official legal guidance after learning the details surrounding your case. Contacting Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. through e-mail, fax, phone, or other medium, does not form an attorney-client relationship.