Parental Relocation with Child: How is the 50 Mile Rule Measured?

You may already know that Section 61.13001, Florida Statutes, has many requirements that must be fulfilled by a parent wishing to relocate with a child(ren), when that parent has been awarded, by court order, the status of residential parent, or has majortiy time-sharing with the minor child(ren).  Such requirements include filing a Petition, attaching any official job offer in the place of desired relocation, and including a very specific statement regarding the other parent's right to file an objection to the relocation, all in capital letters. 

A parent is not required to apply to the Court for permission to relocate with the child(ren) when such a move is 50 miles or less from the parent's current residence. 

But how are the 50 miles measured?  Do you measure 50 miles by the radius on a map, or by the diriving distance on road or highway?  The correct answer is the former.  Tucker v. Liebknecht, 5D11-681 (Fla. 5th DCA May 4, 2012).  In the absence of any statutory or contractual (settlement agreement) provision governing the measurement of distances, the general rule is that distance should be measured along the shortest straight line, on a horizontal plane and not along the course of a highway or along the usual traveled way.  Id. 

*This helpful information is courtesy of Valarie Linnen, Esq. (www.LinnenLegal.com)