What if a parent moves far away without the permission of the court or the other parent who has time-sharing rights pursuant to court order? Florida law states a parent cannot relocate more than 50 miles from his/her residence without a court order or the written permission of the other parent when there is a court-ordered visitation schedule in place and/or a case is pending to establish one. Florida child custody laws provide a remedy for the parent whose time-sharing and parental rights are affected.
The go-to remedy for the parent who is left behind by an unauthorized relocation is to file a motion for what is known as a pick-up order in a Miami child custody case. This motion requests the court to hold the wrongful relocating parent in contempt and to force return of the child to the court's jurisdiction and/or the custody of the non-relocating parent. The fact that a parent relocated in violation of the law may be considered by the court in a Florida child custody case as:
1. A factor in making a determination regarding the relocation of a child.
2. A factor in determining whether the parenting plan or the access or time-sharing schedule should be modified.
3. A basis for ordering the temporary or permanent return of the child.
4. Sufficient cause to order the parent or other person seeking to relocate the child to pay reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees incurred by the party objecting to the relocation.
5. Sufficient cause for the award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, including interim travel expenses incident to access or time-sharing or securing the return of the child.
See Florida Statute 61.13001.
A parent may have a valid reason for relocating, such as a job offer or a new relationship. For that reason, it is important that the proper steps be taken for a lawful relocation to avoid missing out on a life-changing opportunity because your kids cannot go with you. A Miami child custody lawyer can help you understand your rights, obligations and options when it comes to relocating post-separation.