Brentwood Relocation Attorney
Many aspects of parenting are more difficult for divorced couples. Relocating, for instance, can become complicated when only one co-parent wishes to move. In fact, in Tennessee, custodial parents are actually prohibited from relocating without court approval if they plan on moving more than 50 miles from the other parent’s residence. Parents who fail to abide by these rules could be found in violation of their court ordered parenting plan, which can have severe repercussions, so if you or your child’s other parent are thinking about moving and you have questions about the logistics of obtaining permission from the court, you should speak with an experienced Brentwood relocation attorney as soon as possible.
Permission to Relocate
In Tennessee, any parent who has custody of a child and who wants to relocate more than 50 miles from the other parent, or outside of the state, will need to provide the other parent with written notice at least 60 days before the intended move. This notice must contain specific information, including:
- A statement of the intent to move;
- Details about the location of the proposed new residence;
- The reason for the proposed move; and
- A statement explaining that the other parent has 30 days to object to the move.
If the notice satisfies these requirements and the other parent doesn’t file an objection, the petitioning parent can relocate after a month. If, however, the other parent doesn’t agree to the move, he or she can file a petition in opposition to relocation with the court. Once this petition has been filed, the parent who wants to relocate can’t do so without court approval.
If a child’s parent files a petition in opposition to relocation, a court will be charged with deciding whether the relocation is in the child’s best interests. The specific standards applied when making this decision will vary depending on the circumstances of the case. If, for instance, two parents share substantially equal intervals of time with their child, then the court will only approve the move after assessing the parents’ physical and mental health, the child’s school, community, and home record, and the child’s preference (if over the age of 12 years old).
If, on the other hand, the parents don’t share equal time and the primary residential parent wants to relocate, the court will usually approve the request unless:
- The relocation doesn’t have a reasonable purpose;
- The relocation would pose a threat of harm to the child; or
- The motive for the relocation is vindictive and an attempt to defeat the other parent’s custody rights.
If the relocation is approved, the custody agreement will be modified to provide the non-moving parent with adequate and quality parenting time, usually through extended summer vacations and weekend visits during the year.
Contact Our Brentwood Legal Team for Help
If you wish to move with your child, or your former partner is attempting to relocate with your child, please reach out to the dedicated Brentwood relocation lawyers at Beal, Nations & Crutcher to learn more about your legal options and obligations. We can be reached at 615-861-2304 or via online message.