After you are divorced and your child custody has been determined, situations can arise that make it necessary for one parent to relocate out of the State of Tennessee. Divorced parents may wish to move out of the state for a job opportunity, to be closer to family, or to get remarried and start a new life. When this occurs, it is natural to wonder how this move will affect your parenting rights and the rights of your ex.
In the State of Tennessee, the courts have ruled that a custodial parent could relocate the child out of state or over 100 miles from the non-custodial parent, even without their consent. As long as the custodial parent has a valid reason for moving, is not moving to be vindictive, and the move is in the best interest of the child, the courts will grant permission to move across state lines.
Parent Relocation Statute (§36-6-108) specifies that the parent who wishes to relocate a child more than 100 miles from the non-custodian parent must send written notice to that parent at least 60 days prior to the move. The non-custodial parent then has 30 days to object. If they do not file an objection, then they may lose their ability to contest the move.
If both parents spend equal time with the children, the courts will examine the move and determine what is in the best interest of the child. To do so, several factors will be considered, including:
How often the non-custodial parent visits the child
How likely the primary residential parent will encourage and comply with the new visitation arrangement once they move
The connection and bond between the children and the parents
The family unit’s stability
The ability of the parents to work together to ensure visitation is upheld
If the non-custodial parent does not spend substantially equal time with the children, there is little the courts will do to object to the custodial parent’s request to move—as long as the move is for a valid and reasonable purpose.
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