For many of our clients, the months and years following a divorce can be a great time to reevaluate and make a fresh start in life—whether that involves a new haircut, a new relationship, or even a new career. But what if your fresh start (or your ex-spouse’s) involves relocating to a new city?
Are Children Involved?
Well, if you don’t have minor children, bon voyage! But if you are a co-parent, things can get a bit more complicated. Under Tennessee law, once a parenting plan has been established, a parent needs to follow certain rules before they are allowed to move out of state or more than fifty (50) miles away from the other coparent. Relocation rules are pretty exacting and violating them can have serious consequences for you and your children, so we always recommend hiring an attorney at least 2-3 months prior to the move.
What to do if Children are Involved
If you are planning on relocating, you start with a notice to your co-parent. The notice needs to state where exactly you intend to move, why you want to move there, and that your coparent has thirty (30) days to object if they don’t want you to move.
If you and your co-parent are in agreement about your relocation plans, you probably still need to update your parenting plan to reflect your new circumstances.
If your co-parent objects, you will need to get permission from the court for your relocation to go forward. As with any custody dispute, the judge is going to look first to the best interest of the child, which can vary greatly depending upon the child’s age, the parenting plan you had before the move, and other variables. Of course, it usually helps if you have a good reason to move and a well-considered plan for your kids once you get there, including school or day care and opportunities for community connection. If you are objecting to a coparent’s impending relocation, it helps to demonstrate your child’s connection to their existing community.
We Are Here to Help
Restructuring a parenting plan after a coparent’s relocation can be a complicated process, and we don’t recommend trying to go it alone. If you are considering a big move, or if you are wondering how to fight a proposed relocation, give the experienced attorneys at Held Law Firm a call at 865-637-6550. We will be happy to help you navigate these difficult waters.