In some divorce and child custody cases, one parent decides to relocate, making it difficult to exercise parenting time due to the distance between the parties. Parental relocation can cause custody battles and visitation disagreements. If you have questions about relocation in Tennessee, your custody agreement, and your ex’s plans to relocate your children, do not hesitate to contact the family law attorneys of MHPS.
What is Child Relocation?
Be it remarriage, a new job, or simply a restart, when divorced parents decide to relocate with their children, it can often cause problems for the non-custodial parent. In Tennessee, if a custodial parent wishes to relocate with the child, the noncustodial parent must agree to the terms.
However, if the move is less than 50 miles from the other parent, court approval is not needed. If the move is greater than 50 miles, or out-of-state, the law requires the custodial parent to provide written notice to the court and the nonmoving parent.
The notice must be sent within 60 days before the move, and it must include:
- A statement of intent to move
- The location of the proposed new residence
- The reasons for the proposed move
- A statement that the other parent may file a petition to object to the move within 30 days of receipt of the notice
Failure to meet these requirements may cause the court to deny relocation. If, however, the court does approve, and the noncustodial does not object, the parent can relocate with the children.
Upon approval, both parties need to come to an agreement on a new visitation schedule.
Court Factors in Relocation Hearings
The court will review numerous factors prior to approving a relocation petition. These factors include:
- Provisions for parenting time and visitation
- The parent’s availability due to work and other obligations
- Resources relating to the care and supervision of the child
- The quality of the parent-child relationship
- The physical and mental health of the parent and child
- The child’s preference in staying with either parent
- The child’s care in regards to abuse, health, etc.
Relocating with a child can be complicated for a variety of reasons. Ultimately, courts want to know that the child’s interests are still at the forefront of the parent’s minds. If the court finds problems in the move, the relocation will not go through and the moving parent will have to make other arrangements.
What Rights Do Noncustodial Parents Have?
With the best interests of the child in mind, noncustodial parents in Tennessee have certain rights when it comes to their children. Rights for noncustodial parents include:
- Notification of important information as soon as possible, but within 24 hours of the medical emergency;
- The right to access records and correspondence from their child’s school;
- The right to receive medical records;
- They get unimpeded telephone calls at least twice a week;
- The right to be free of any derogatory remarks about family members in the presence of their child;
- 48 hours notice of any extra-curricular activities;
- Access to mail, without the other parent’s interference (i.e. unopened, uncensored);
- The right to receive an itinerary when the other parent leaves the state with their child for more than two days; and
- The right of access to and participation in their child’s education and related activities.
Why You Need an Attorney Before a Big Move
You may think the most stressful part of your big move is the physical relocation, however, getting your ex’s consent to the move can prove more problematic than you think. Before you make any drastic decisions, you need to consult with a family law attorney who can guide you through the process.
Nashville Child Custody Lawyers Can Help: Relocation
Moving can be complicated enough. But when a child is involved and divorce has already occurred, it can be a nightmare. If you plan to relocate with your child, you need a family law attorney who can guide you through the relocation process.
Our Nashville child custody lawyers understand how difficult this situation can be. If you need guidance on child relocation in Tennessee, contact the child custody attorneys at MHPS today for more information.