Can I Stop My Ex From Moving Out Of Tennessee With Our Child?

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children laying on dock overlooking waterAmericans are a very mobile nation. Most of us relocate several times throughout our lives for various reasons. But it’s not so easy to grab everything and go when you’re a divorced parent. Particularly if you intend to move out of state with your children. First of all, you should take into account your custody arrangement, well-being of your children and rights of your ex-spouse. If you’re a Tennessee resident considering relocation after divorce, it’s essential to talk to a professional attorney that understands the complex regulations of a parent moving out of state with common children.

Child Custody

In matters of relocation, child custody plays a key role. If it’s joint, each parent is able to spend a lot of time with their children in their own houses. It also guarantees that parents have an equal voice in education, health care, faith and other important questions related to raising their children. However, long distances can mess things up. That’s why if you don’t want your child to relocate with your ex-spouse, you can go to the court and oppose this idea. Under Tennessee Family Law, the other parent would be forced to prove that moving is in children’s best interest.

On the other hand, if your former spouse has a sole custody of your kids, your actions are quite limited. Unless you show that moving out of a state would harm your kids, your ex-spouse has a full power provided by law to take them.


A decision to move is a very serious step which can affect visitation schedules parents agreed on. It’s one of the reasons Tennessee Family Law requires a custodial parent to provide a written notice to the other parent at least 60 days prior to moving. This allows you and your former partner to work out a brand-new custody or visitation arrangement. If you’re not satisfied with an updated arrangement, the parent who plans to move must file a petition in state court and obtain court approval.

Stopping a Move Out of Tennessee

Remember that you as a parent should think about the kids in the first place. In case you really worry for their health and wealth, keep fighting to protect their interests. You have the right to file an objection to a move or even request a court hearing to change your custody arrangement. Typically, a court will only do this if a judge makes a decision that moving would have a serious, unfavorable impact on the children. There are a number of crucial questions the judge must ask to make a decision. Here are a few examples:

  • Will relocating significantly boost the quality of life for the custodial parent and kid?
  • Does the parent intending to move have legitimate reasons? Or are there other hidden intentions, such as wanting to keep the other parent from seeing the child?
  • Is relocation going to have an impact on children’s psychological, physical or developmental needs?
  • Does a move decrease other parent’s possibility to see and visit a child?
  • Will the action offer realistic opportunities for both parents to be fully participated in their kid’s life?

Here’s an example of a similar case. The court sided with a father who didn’t want the mother of their children, the custodial parent, to relocate them throughout the country. Her reason for moving ( she wanted to live near her childhood house) wasn’t convincing enough for a judge. After taking this and other factors into account, such as the distance of the relocation as well as the children’s poor social and emotional skills, the court approved custody to the father. The court thought this would provide the kids the stability they required and help them improve their relationship with their father.

Whatever the situation, it is important to cooperate with a Tennessee family law advocate who can help you reach an agreement about your ex-partner moving out of state with your children or stand up for your rights in court. We invite you to contact Conner & Roberts, PLLC, today at 423-266-2144 to schedule a free consultation regarding your challenging divorce or other family law matters. We represent individuals, families and businesses in the Tennessee Valley and throughout eastern and middle Tennessee.

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