December 7, 2023

The Importance of Parental Relocation in Florida Family Law

Parental relocation is an increasingly common issue faced by families dealing with the complexities of family law in Florida. Whether a parent is pursuing a new job opportunity, seeking to be closer to extended family, or looking to make a fresh start after a divorce, navigating the intricacies of parental relocation laws is crucial to ensure that your child’s best interests are met, and your rights as a parent are protected. At Dorsey Law JAX, our team of top Jacksonville attorneys is dedicated to helping families understand the ins and outs of parental relocation in Florida family law, ensuring that both parents and children can successfully navigate this challenging process.

In this guide, we will delve into the fundamental aspects of parental relocation in Florida family law, including important legal guidelines, factors that courts consider when evaluating relocation requests, and potential legal ramifications for not following the appropriate procedures. Furthermore, we will shed light on the critical role of experienced Jacksonville attorneys in guiding you through the relocation process, negotiating relocation agreements, and representing your interests during court proceedings.

At Dorsey Law JAX, our commitment to our clients is unwavering, as we understand the stress and uncertainty that can accompany the relocation process. Our team of top Jacksonville attorneys is here to provide you with the necessary guidance, resources, and expertise needed to protect your rights and ensure that the relocation process goes smoothly for both you and your children. Trust in our experience and dedication to help you navigate the complexities of parental relocation in Florida family law with confidence and ease.

Legal Guidelines for Parental Relocation in Florida

1. Relocation Procedure

If a parent wishes to move more than 50 miles away from their current residence for 60 days or more, they must adhere to the Florida Statutes’ Section 61.13001, which governs parental relocations. The parent wishing to relocate must either obtain written consent from the other parent or obtain court approval.

2. Written Consent

When both parents agree to the relocation, they should create a written agreement that outlines the details of their mutual consent, including a visitation schedule for the non-relocating parent and any other matters pertaining to the relocation. The court must then ratify the written consent.

3. Petition for Relocation

If both parents do not agree on the requested relocation, the relocating parent must file a petition for relocation with the court. This petition must include specific information, such as contact information, the reason for the move, the proposed visitation schedule, and a proposed revised time-sharing schedule.

Factors Affecting Court Decisions on Parental Relocation Requests

1. Child’s Best Interests

The primary consideration for evaluating relocation requests is the best interests of the child. Factors that may influence the court’s decision include the child’s age, any specific needs of the child, and the child’s connection to their current community.

2. Quality of Parent-Child Relationships

The court will consider the quality and involvement of each parent’s relationship with the child and how relocating would impact these relationships.

3. Reason for Relocation

The court will examine the underlying reasons for the requested relocation, including the validity of potential benefits for the parent and child, such as enhanced job opportunities, a better support system, or improved quality of life.

4. Relocation’s Effect on Time-Sharing Schedule

The court will assess how the proposed relocation would affect the existing time-sharing schedule and consider whether an alternative schedule could maintain a healthy relationship between the child and both parents.

5. Parental Cooperation

The court may also evaluate the willingness of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close relationship between the child and the other parent, including their cooperation in developing and adhering to a revised time-sharing schedule.

Legal Ramifications of Not Following Proper Parental Relocation Procedures

1. Contempt of Court

Failure to comply with the legal requirements for parental relocation may lead to a finding of contempt of court, which can result in fines, court-imposed sanctions, or even jail time.

2. Modification of Time-Sharing Schedule

If the court finds that the relocating parent violated the law, it could alter the existing time-sharing schedule in favor of the non-relocating parent or order the relocating parent to return the child to their original residence.

3. Impact on Future Legal Proceedings

Non-compliance with relocation procedures can negatively impact the relocating parent’s position in future legal proceedings related to child custody, time-sharing, or other family law matters.

The Role of Top Jacksonville Attorneys in Parental Relocation Cases

1. Expert Legal Guidance and Advocacy

Experienced Jacksonville attorneys can provide invaluable guidance and expertise in navigating the complexities of Florida family law in parental relocation cases, helping to ensure that your rights are upheld, and the best interests of your child are protected.

2. Assistance in Negotiations and Mediation

Top attorneys can offer support and guidance in negotiating relocation agreements with your co-parent or representing your interests during mediation sessions, working towards a mutually satisfactory resolution.

3. Court Representation

If court intervention becomes necessary, your attorney will diligently represent you in court, ensuring your voice is heard and that your rights are protected throughout the entire process.


Parental relocation in Florida family law can be a difficult and emotionally charged process, but with a clear understanding of the legal guidelines and potential ramifications, families can effectively navigate the transition while ensuring the best interests of their children remain the top priority. With the support of top Jacksonville attorneys, you can move forward with confidence, knowing that your rights as a parent are safeguarded as you embark on this new chapter in your life. 

Trust in the experience and dedication of the Dorsey Law JAX team to guide you through the complexities of parental relocation in Florida family law, providing the resources and expertise necessary to protect your rights and secure a brighter future for you and your child.


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