As Guardian, Do I Have to Tell the Court if I Move (or Go on Vacation)?
If you have Guardianship for your child and plan to move (or vacation), you may have a little bit of extra work ahead of you. Here's what you need to do.
We’re currently in the 6th week of the Online Guardianship Workshop, and it’s going great. We’ve been getting awesome questions about guardianship from our parents, some of which I thought you may also like to know the answers to.
Here’s one (actually, there are three questions on the same topic) from Lea, who is in the process of getting guardianship for her daughter.
If you are a guardian, do you have to get the court’s approval to:
Move your child’s residence within the same county?
Move your child’s residence to a different county, but within the State of Florida?
Go on vacation out of the country?
Moving a Ward Within the Same County
Once you become a guardian, there is no requirement to get the Court’s permission to move your child’s residence within the county that he or she currently resides.
However, as a courtesy, it’s a good idea to make a “Notice Filing” with the court, which is a short, informal (as far as legal paperwork filed with a Court goes) document that simply advised the court where your child (the Ward) will be living. You would also serve this Notice on your Child’s court appointed lawyer.
Moving the Ward Outside the County, But Within Florida
Anytime you move your child anywhere outside the County where he or she currently resides, you must first get permission from the court. This requires filing a Petition with the Court, it may require a hearing, and you’ll need a Court order before you can move.
If you stay within the State of Florida, your case will simply be transferred to the court in the new County that the Ward resides. A notice filing will need to be made with the new Court to let them know they now have jurisdiction over you (as Guardian) and the Ward.
Moving the Ward Outside of Florida
Incidentally, if you plan to move outside the State of Florida, you will want to make some careful advance plans. Because Florida does not participate in any guardianship reciprocity programs with other states, chances are, you may need to file for Guardianship again in the new state. You may want to get this process started well in advance of moving because once you get the court’s Order to move your child, your Guardianship in Florida will end, and your child will be left without one.
Going on Vacation Out of the Country (or anywhere)
If you are taking your child on vacation, there is no requirement to get the Court’s advance approval. You are allowed to bring your child on vacation, even for an extended stay trip, as long as your child’s legal residential status does not change from their current location in Florida.
When you have Guardianship, moving is one of those things that you need to give some careful thought about, especially if you are planning to leave the County where you child currently resides. None of the extra work is monumental, and we actually cover how to make these types of “Post Letters” filings in the Online Guardianship Workshop.