Thursday, March 11, 2010

Relocation and Time-Sharing

Unfortunately, many of us are related to or have friends who are divorced. Divorce brings about a restructuring of families in which parents have to continue to cooperate and communicate long after the dissolution of the marriage. One of the greatest challenges involves the relocation of the custodial parent after the divorce. One of the divorced parents usually goes from seeing their children on a daily basis to seeing their children on alternate weekends, holidays, and summertime. Relocation often requires that the time spent with both parents is even more diminished as a move can often mean seeing your children four times per year or less. This article will attempt to provide a thumbnail sketch of what is required to relocate in Florida in a manner which will hopefully make sense to both the family law practitioner, the non-family practitioner, and the layperson.

The big change with the new statue Section 61.13001 requires advance notice. Prior to the statute, a non-custodial parent usually found out on short notice that the custodial parent was moving and needed to obtain an emergency hearing which usually did not take place until after the custodial parent had already moved. Now, if the custodial parent is permanently moving more than 50 miles from the non-custodial parents home, a very technical notice must be given. This notice, among other things, must state the new address and phone number, the date of the move, the reason for the move, and a plan for new visitation arrangements. This notice provision applies to parents who are subject to an existing court order or who have a pending dissolution action. It does not have to be a divorce but can apply to any custody order involving children. This, however, does not mean that a person can just move away just because there is not an existing court order or pending dissolution action.

The big question that we will all be asked is what happens if you do not give notice. If notice is not given, the Court could hold the custodial parent in contempt, consider it to give the non-custodial parent custody of the children, consider it to not allow the move, or require that the children be returned. In short, a parent does not want to move without the other parent's written permission or Court Order. The problem is going to be, however, that unless you are a family law attorney or the procedure is spelled out in an existing Court Order, most people are not going to be aware of the requirements. Further, even if the requirements are known, the notice requirements are highly technical and will be difficult for a layperson to ensure compliance with the statute.

Information provided by:
Charles E. Willmott Esq.

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.
For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at


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