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Can a wife take her son and daughter to live somewhere else without the consent of the husband?

Tallahassee, FL |

The wife files for divorce. The wife claims that her lawyer said she could take her children to live somewhere else because her husband refuses to leave their rental home of eighteen years of marriage within their marital residence. So she decides to take her kids to live somewhere else without the consent of the husband. The wife is employed and the husband is unemployed without benefits.

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Attorney answers 4


Yes, you both have equal rights just so long as you do not move to another state and establish residency (generally 6 months)

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.


Without a court order as between married parents neither has parental rights superior to the other. The best interest statute, 61.13(3), provides that demonstrated capacity of one parent to be mindful of the rights of the other parent. As such one would predict that mom's unilateral action would be harmful to her case once in court because she has already demonstrated she doesn't care about dad's rights. This type action flies in the face of Florida's public policy of shared parental responsibility and could be interpreted perhaps as a parental kidnapping by some. If the wife claims her lawyer told her this was OK she will have waived attorney client privilege and can expect her lawyer will testify against her position. No lawyer of even borderline competence would suggest or approve such action.

This answer was provided as a courtesy to you and no attempt was made to establish any type of attorney/client relationship.

Robert M Chambers

Robert M Chambers


Additionally it might be if an interstate move is involved that there is a violation of Florida's relocation statute. 61.13001. I would much rather advocate for dad than Mon in such a situation. She is her own worst enemy!


I agree with counsel. However, this is one of the most important times for adults to act carefully and with the best interests of their children in mind. Just because you have equal rights doesn't mean that you drag kids around to prove a point. You need to think kids first and everything else, next. Focus on the children and everything will work out.

Bill Rosenfelt 407-462-8787 (Orlando/Longwood/Central Florida)

Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.


It is not very helpful to Wife's case in dissolution to start judicial process and then leave. The courts like the parties to stay where they are until the court has the opportunity to make a decision. The courts rely on the best interest of the child standard in determining everything from time sharing to relocation matters. It would be a good idea to consult with an attorney to answer the petition as well as file the appropriate motions.

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