Florida Statutes set forth the procedure one should follow in obtaining permission to move with a child. This procedure must be followed precisely in order to secure a hearing on the merits of the prospective move. One may ask for temporary or permanent permission to move, or both. The statutes set forth numerous factors which the Court must consider in exercising its discretion in permitting or preventing the move. The ultimate factor is whether the move is in the child’s best interest. One may call witnesses and present evidence to the Court on both sides of the issue. When the child is too young to testify, the Court may even order a social investigation to uncover aspects of the case which the Court may wish to consider in reaching its decision.
It is important to note that in some cases where there has been no prior order relating to custody, the relocation statute may not apply. Before you make a decision about moving or even discussing the issue with the other parent, you should obtain legal advice especially if you are pregnant. If you are the parent without a custody order you should obtain advice in taking steps to insure that the statute will come into play and that the Court will have a hearing on the matter. Good planning with your family law attorney can preserve and create rights you may not otherwise have.