What Are the Requirements for Parental Relocation in TN?

If you decide to move as a custodial parent, you need to meet specific requirements under Tennessee law and follow the necessary steps. While a court cannot prevent you from relocating to the destination of your choice, a judge has to give you the approval to move your child with you. Building a strong case to present to both your co-parent and the court is central to this type of legal process.

When examining your petition, a judge considers a wide range of factors although they all boil down to whether your proposed relocation is in your child’s best interests. Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you secure a positive response to your request, including in situations when your co-parent object to your child moving away.

What Does the Law Require for Parental Relocation in Tennessee?

If you plan to move farther than 50 miles from your co-parent or out-of-state, the law requires that you receive the judge’s approval to do so with your child. You need to send a certified registered mail to the court and the other parent no later than 60 days before your expected moving date.

Your written notice must include:

  • A statement of intent to relocate.
  • The location of your proposed move
  • The reasons for the planned relocation.

If your notice does not meet all requirements, the judge may deny your relocation. If your co-parent has no objection to your move and you receive the court’s approval, you may relocate with your child after 30 days.

A court hearing may not be necessary if your notice is complete, and the other party agrees to your proposed move. If you receive authorization to relocate with your child, you also need to file for a modification of the child custody court order to modify the visitation schedule.

What If the Other Parent Object?

When you submit your written notice to the judge and the other parent, your co-parent has 30 days to file a Petition in Opposition to Move with the court. If this happens, the judge can hear both parents out and carefully review whether the move serves the child’s best interests.

If you need a hearing because the other parent objects to your relocation, you should work with a lawyer to help you prepare documentation and any evidence that shows the move is beneficial for your child and should receive the judge’s approval.

What Factors Does the Judge Consider when Determining a Child’s Best Interests?

Like with any other matters that concern one or more minor children, a judge uses the benchmark of a child’s best interest when assessing a petition for parental relocation.

When reviewing your case, the judge will look at the following factors:

  • The quality of the child’s relationship with each parent
  • How much time the child spends with each parent
  • Provisions in the current child custody order
  • All parties’ physical and mental health
  • Educational, extracurricular, and social opportunities for the child at the proposed new location
  • How a new visitation schedule would ensure the child maintains a relationship with the non-relocating parent
  • The child’s preference if they are at least 12 years old
  • Whether the move would preserve stability in the child’s life

Choose Conner & Roberts, PLLC, to File Your Petition for Parental Relocation

We usually recommend that you reach out to us as soon as you plan to relocate. Although we understand that a move may happen quickly for certain reasons like a new job, getting started early can increase your chances of getting a judge’s approval. It also helps you give sufficient notice to your co-parent so you can discuss any modifications to the child custody and visitation schedule court order.

Building a strong case and showing how this relocation can benefit your child is central to receiving official permission to move with your child. In the event that the child’s other parent objects to the move, we can also assist you in negotiating a mutually beneficial solution. We have extensive experience in child custody and other family law matters and we strive to find effective strategies that fit your unique situation.

If you are planning to file a petition for parental relocation in Chattanooga or its surrounding areas, contact Conner & Roberts, PLLC, today at (423) 299-4489 to schedule a consultation!

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