Author: Wally Kassebaum


Custody Issues with Relocation

We live in a world that changes very rapidly; it used to be that you were born, lived and died in the same home town.  Now we have become a migratory people. We are also more aware of other locales as we have become interconnected via the internet and smart phones, causing us to have knowledge that it is possible to move to a different area with relative ease.

In our nation, this ease of transportation has become a necessity particularly since the market crash of 2008 and the continuing reformation of our employment opportunities. We now have whole families moving rather frequently because they must leave in order to find work.

These days I am asked frequently how relocating works when you have a custody decree of some nature and now need to move. And how does this affect a divorced spouse who has timeshare with the children when they find the only job they can find is in another state?

The first move here in Florida is to notify the other spouse you want to relocate by filing a Petition for Relocation.  It does not matter if you are the majority timeshare parent or if you are the parent with the more limited timeshare schedule.  If you are going to relocate you must file the Petition for Relocation.  How do you know if your move is one that requires you to take action?

Florida Statutes Section 61.13001 defines relocation to mean a change in the location of your principal residence or of any parent€™s principal residence from where they lived at the time a custody order was entered.

Does the distance and time of my relocation matter? Yes.  You will fall under the statute if you move at least 50 miles away for at least 60 consecutive days not including on a temporary basis for purposes of vacation, education, or the provision of health care for the child.

Once you have decided that you fall under the provisions of the relocation statute you must then file a Petition for Relocation with the court and serve it on your spouse.  This statute is one of the most technical statutes we have in family law matter. You may want to consider pulling statute Section 61.13001 off the internet and reviewing it and following it very carefully.  I know that may seem overwhelming to you therefore, it you need to you can visit my web site  Once there you can select an option of obtaining my services through my secure portal and Carroll Law, P.A. can help you if you have some very specific questions but do not feel you need to hire an attorney to do the whole law suit for you.  By entering my secure portal you will have the ability to select how much help you can afford on an action by action basis.

In my secure portal, I can explain to you that once your Petition for Relocation is served on your spouse, you will need to wait 20 days to see if there is a verified objection filed by your spouse.  If the spouse does not contest or object to you relocating then you can take the matter straight to the Judge without an evidentiary hearing.  All that has to happen is the final order gets signed without the need for a hearing.

If the spouse does object then you have the right to have a temporary hearing within 30 days on whether or not you can move on a temporary basis.  You will eventually need a permanent hearing, but because employment opportunities do not sit around waiting on you to get a court ruling to let you move, the Florida Legislature put the speedy hearing date for a temporary relocation into the statue.

If you find yourself in a position where you must seek a full trial on whether or not you can relocate, then the best thing is to seek legal counsel.  As previously mentioned it is a tricky statute and a mere technically could throw your whole move out of the courthouse, back to square one.

Should you find yourself in a position where you need to relocate or just desire to relocate maybe to move closer to family or otherwise, please come and see me:

Carroll Law, P.A.
304 Harrison Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401

Call us @ 850-785-9005 or visit with us at

I and my staff stand ready to help you prepare for this next great move in your life.

Respectfully Submitted

Susan V. Carroll, Esquire