Parental Relocation in Tennessee
When a parent wants to relocate after divorce, they should know what is required of them, and what the courts will consider when making a decision.
After a divorce, custodial parents do not always remain in the same place. While it is not uncommon for parents to relocate with their child once a divorce case is over, it can create issues. More specifically, relocation can result in the non-custodial parent having less parenting time and the costs of visitation will increase.
Custodial parents in Tennessee that want to relocate with a child must notify the other parent. If the non-custodial parent does not agree to the move, they can ask a family law judge to deny the request or petition for a child custody modification.
Requirements for Relocating Under the Law
Custodial parents can move within 50 miles of the other parent’s residence without a court approving the move beforehand. However, if a custodial parent wishes to move further than this, particularly if they are moving to a different state, they are required to provide written notice to the non-custodial parent. This notification must meet certain requirements, which include:
- The statement of the intention to move,
- The location of the new place of residence,
- The reasons for the move, and
- A statement that the non-custodial parent can file a petition with the court to protest the move within 30 days of receiving the notice.
The parent who wishes to move must send notification by certified or registered mail to the last known address of the non-custodial parent no later than 60 days prior to the move. The court has the authority to deny the relocation when the notification does not meet the requirements. If the non-custodial parent does not object to the relocation and the notification meets the requirements, the custodial parent can move within 30 days. The moving parent is also required to petition the court asking them to change the visitation schedule.
Considerations for Relocations
While not all relocation cases will require a hearing, some will, particularly if the non-moving parent objects to the move. When a relocation case does go to court, a judge will take many factors into consideration. The first of these pertain to the amount of time each parent spends with the child and they are as follows:
- The amount of parenting time outlined in the existing child custody order
- Any additional time both parents spend with the child
- The activities each parent takes part in
- The resources spent on the supervision and care of the child, and
- Any other factors the court deems relevant
The court will then consider how the move will affect the best interests of the child. The degree of visitation by each parent, the relationship between the child and each parent, and the mental and physical health of the parents are just a few of the factors a court will take into consideration.
A Tennessee Family Lawyer Can Help with Your Relocation Case
Whether you want to relocate with your child or fight against a relocation request, I can help. I am a Brentwood family lawyer who understands the child custody laws of the state and can explain how they apply to your case. Call me today, Judy A. Oxford, Attorney at Law at 615-791-8511 or fill out the online form to schedule a free initial consultation and to obtain the sound legal advice you need.