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Relocation Law Firm FL

By statute enacted in 2006, and as amended in 2010, a parent who has primary residential custody of a child, and the non-custodial parent,  who desires to relocate more than 50 miles from his or her principal place of residence must obtain one of the following [see  61.13001(2)-(3), Fla. Stat.:

  1. A written agreement to the relocation from the child’s other parent and any other person with rights of visitation, and court ratification of the agreement.
  2. A court order that allows relocation following a noticed evidentiary hearing.

The 2006 statute indicates that a nonparent, who by court order maintains the primary residence of a child, must obtain the court’s permission to relocate in the same manner as a primary custodial parent [see  61.13001(1)(a)-(b), (d), (3)(a)7.-8., Fla. Stat.]. However, the statute is not entirely clear in this respect [cf.  61.13001(1)(a)-(b), (d), (3)(a)7.-8., Fla. Stat. (indicating that parent or nonparent may seek to relocate under statute) with  61.13001(1)(g)-(h) (defining “relocation” as change in principal residence of child, and “principal residence of child” as home of designated residential parent), (2)(a) (referring to agreement between primary residential parent and child’s “other parent and every other person entitled to visitation with the child”), (3)(c) (directing service on child’s “other parent and [] every other person entitled to visitation with the child”), Fla. Stat.]. The discussion below regarding the 2006 relocation statute incorporates an assumption that both parents and nonparents who have primary custody of a child are subject to the requirements of the statute.
The 2006 statute applies to temporary or permanent orders or proceedings regarding (1) the custody or primary residence of a child, or (2) visitation with a child [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(11)(a)]. The 2006 statute does not apply to custody or visitation orders that (1) existed on October 1, 2006; (2) expressly govern relocation of a child or a change in the principal address of a child’s parent; and (3) conflict with the 2006 statute [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(11)(b)].

In actions to which the 2006 statute is applicable [see [a], above], the following definitions apply [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(1); see also 2006 Fla. Laws, ch. 2006-245, 2]:

  1. “Change of residence address” means the relocation of a minor child to a principal residence more than 50 miles away from his or her principal place of residence at the time of the entry of the last order (1) designating or modifying the designation of the primary residential parent, or (2) establishing or modifying custody of the child, unless the move places the principal residence of the child less than 50 miles from the noncustodial parent [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(1)(a)].
  2. “Child” means any person who is under the jurisdiction of a state court pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), or who is the subject of any order granting to a parent or other person any right to residential care, custody, or visitation as provided under state law [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(1)(b)].
  3. “Court” means (1) the circuit court in an original proceeding that has proper venue and jurisdiction in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), (2) the circuit court in the county in which either parent and the child reside, or (3) the circuit court in which the original action was adjudicated [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(1)(c)].
  4. “Other person” means an individual who is not the parent of the child but who, by court order, maintains the primary residence of the child or has visitation rights with the child [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(1)(d)].
  5. “Parent” means (1) any person named as the child’s parent by court order or by express written agreement that is subject to court enforcement, or (2) a person reflected as the child’s parent on a birth certificate and in whose home the child maintains a primary or secondary residence [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(1)(e)].
  6. “Person entitled to be the primary residential parent of a child” means (1) a person designated by court order or by an enforceable express written agreement as the primary residential parent of the child; or (2) a person who is seeking designation as the child’s primary residential parent; or (3) if neither parent of the child has been designated as his or her primary residential parent, the person seeking to relocate with the child [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(1)(f)].
  7. “Principal residence of a child” means (1) the home of the designated primary residential parent; or (2) if rotating custody is in effect, both parents’ homes [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(1)(g)].
  8. “Relocation” means a change in the principal residence of a child for a period of 60 consecutive days or more, but does not include a temporary absence from the principal residence for purposes of vacation, education, or the provision of health care for the child [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(1)(h)].

Although the phrase “person entitled to be the primary residential parent of a child” is defined in the 2006 enactment [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001(1)(f)], it is not used elsewhere in the statute [see Fla. Stat. 61.13001].



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