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How can I go about relocating with my daughter the "right way"?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

I want to move out of state and there is currently no custody order/time-share in place. He does however pay child-support and sees my daughter every other weekend.The father will more then likely file for custody as soon as I move out of the state so I would like to know how I can get the ball rolling and file first. I do not want to get in trouble with the courts or get sent back to FL once I move.

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

First and foremost, the Mother has all the rights to the child until the father goes to Court and asks for them, usually done by filling a Petition to Establish Paternity and Other Related Relief. Florida Statute 744.301 states the mother of a child born out of wedlock is the natural guardian of the child and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless the court enters an order stating otherwise.
You can pack your bag and move to Alaska if you wants. The only way to stop you from moving is for him to go to the Courthouse and file a Petition asking for those rights. If you move before he files the petition then he is out of luck and you are not required to comply with Florida Statute 61.13001. However, if he learns about the move, and files before you leave you are now locked into a 50 mile radius.
If the case is the latter then you should read through 61.13001 and then consult an attorney. Sit down and speak with an attorney. You can find many attorneys on this Website. Start by reviewing the attorney profiles. Look through the various attorneys that practice Family Law/Divorce and make some phone calls. Many of us are willing to give you a free consult, some of us work Saturdays and late evenings.

This message does not establish an attorney-client relationship. I do not represent your interests. Any advice given is based upon the limited facts you have presented which may be incomplete. This is a general response and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It is my hope and advice that you will consult with a local attorney.



said if I move before he files I would not be subject to Statue 61.13001. But if he files after I leave I would have to return to FL is that right?

Michael Costantino

Michael Costantino


Florida would have jurisdiction over the child, if he files within 6 months of your departure, but that doesn't mean the Florida Court would order your return. The Court may establish a time-sharing schedule that allows the child to be here during parts of the year and with you other parts of the year. Moving will not deny him access to the child. Moving may make your life easier in some aspects and more difficult in other aspects. You should make some phone calls. A 10 minute conversation with an Attorney that practices Family Law is so much more effective.


You can file a petition to determine paternity and other relief that will include a parenting plan and time sharing schedule as well as establish a child support obligation. After he has answered your petition, you can file a motion for temporary relocation. Absent good cause, a hearing must occur no later than 30 days after the motion for a temporary relocation is filed. Pay attention to the factors listed in Fla. Stat §61.13001(7) to prove that the move is in the child's best interest.


If you want to do things the right way, you need to file a Petition to Establish Paternity, Parenting Plan and Child Support. You also need to file a Notice of Intent to Relocate and serve the father with both. A hearing will take place within 30 days to determine if you will be allowed to leave. It would go much smoother if you hired an attorney. Good luck.

B. Elaine Jones, Esq.


I agree with my colleagues so need to repeat. Feel free to check out my website where I discuss parental relocation and have links to the relevant statutes. There are many issues at play and you really need to discuss your case with a family law attorney. We do this for a living. Parental Relocation is very tricky and you really have one shot. The move must be in the child's best interest and meet the statutory factors. You should NOT be doing this on your own. Also, once you move, there are residency requirements and the UCCJEA will come into play, especially if the father is going to fight you after you move. There is so much more we could all write, but you need to contact an attorney. Good luck...and again, DO NOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN.

Richard S. Chizever, Esq. is a family law attorney licensed in the state of Florida. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Richard S. Chizever or the Law Office of Richard S. Chizever, P.A. and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


You need to obtain the father's written permission or obtain a Court order prior to moving. I suggest filing a motion with your family court.

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