Orlando Parental Relocation Lawyer

When a parent with custody rights seeks to move to a new residence, it can pose a host of challenges for both parents. In Florida, relocations beyond a certain distance from the previous residence require parents to enter a parental relocation agreement or seek court approval. The Orlando parental relocation lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group are ready to help you manage the legal details of reaching a parental relocation agreement.

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara

Content last updated on: March 21, 2024

When one of the parents engaged in a joint custody arrangement needs to move, this can give rise to some issues with the existing child custody and time-sharing agreement. If one parent is moving farther away from the other, issues may arise regarding transportation, visitation, and other custody details. Thus, parental relocations often require the parents to seek court approval or agree to a parental relocation agreement. 

The Orlando parental relocation lawyers at  O’Mara Law Group have years of experience handling difficult and sometimes contentious parental relocations. We work with both relocating and non-relocating parents. Our attorneys are well-versed in the complexities of Florida family law and are ready to help advocate for you and your child as you navigate the parental relocation process. 

Experienced Orlando Parental Relocation Lawyer

  • The O’Mara Law Group has experienced, award-winning Orlando divorce lawyers and family law attorneys. A family attorney can be an extremely valuable resource for those navigating divorce, child custody, and parental relocation, providing compassionate guidance and years of expertise.

Our team of Orlando child relocation lawyers includes:

  • Founding partner Mark O’Mara has over four decades of experience as a marital and family law attorney in Central Florida. He is certified both as a Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and as a Circuit Civil Mediator. He serves as President of the Central Florida Family Law American Inn of Court.
  • Mark Rabinowitz joined the O’Mara Law Group in 2023. He has practiced family law in Florida for nearly twenty-five years, handling cases for high-profile clients, including professional athletes, televangelists, and other high net-worth individuals. He has served as a member of the Family Law Rules Committee and the Marital and Family Law Certification Committee of the Florida Bar.

Florida Laws on Parental Relocation

When a parent with child custody rights under an agreement or court order moves or changes their primary residence, it can materially affect the custody terms. Depending on the distance, a parental relocation agreement or court approval may be required.

Every state has different laws and regulations regarding parental relocation. Under Florida law, if a parent moves more than fifty miles from their old residence for sixty days or more, the child custody agreement must be modified, meaning the visitation and time-sharing schedule will likely need to be amended. 

A written agreement outlining the new time-sharing arrangement must be signed by both parents and approved by the court. 

If the parties cannot agree on an updated arrangement, the parent seeking to relocate must file a petition with the court and serve it to the other parties involved in the child custody agreement. If the other parent wishes to object to the relocation, they must file an objection with the court in writing.

What Factors Are Considered in Relocation Cases?

When determining the details of a new or updated custody agreement due to parental relocation, the courts will decide what’s in the child’s best interests first and foremost. In determining a child’s best interests, courts may consider the following factors: 

  • Relationship with each parent
  • Age of the children
  • Distance of the relocation
  • Reason for the move
  • Education in the new location
  • Overall opportunity for the child

What is the Legal Process for Parental Relocation?

If the parental relocation is uncontested and both parents agree on the details, a new written agreement must be drafted to reflect the changes. 

However, if the relocation is contested, the parent seeking relocation must file a petition and give written notice of the petition to the other parties with custody of the child. This written notice should contain all relevant information about the new address and contact information. It must also contain a statement supporting why the parent wants to move and a proposed revised custody arrangement. The other parent must then register an objection with the court, outlining in writing why they seek to block the relocation.  


When the relocation is contested, the court may require mediation before proceeding with a full court hearing. Mediation is a more informal process involving all parties and a trained third-party mediator meeting to try and negotiate an acceptable arrangement for all parties. The mediation process may take several sessions to produce an acceptable agreement for all the parties involved.

If mediation fails, the case may be heard by a judge. The judge will review the case and determine whether relocating is in the child’s best interests. 

The legal processes for parental relocation in Florida can be complicated and stressful, so having an Orlando parental relocation attorney on your side is critical. The O’Mara Law Group’s child custody lawyers can advocate for you and your child throughout this process. 

Is it Illegal to Move Away Without a Relocation Agreement?

It is illegal to relocate a child to a new residence more than fifty miles away from the previous residence without first reaching an agreement or getting permission from a judge. Moving away without a relocation agreement could subject the parent to criminal contempt charges. The judge may impose penalties, including fines or even jail time.

Moving without a relocation agreement could also have ramifications for child custody. The judge will consider the illegal relocation when re-evaluating the parenting plan and child custody agreement. It could also impact the judge when determining whether or not to grant the request to relocate with the child.

Rely on the O'Mara Law Group

Parental relocation is stressful, and navigating the legal procedures is often a source of added worry for parents. 

Whether you are a relocating or non-relocating parent, getting help from a parental relocation attorney is important to ensure you protect your rights and take the proper steps. The O’Mara Law Group has decades of experience helping parents navigate difficult relocation agreements. Schedule a consultation today to see how we can help.

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