White and White Attorneys at Law
White & White Attorney

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What obstacles can prevent out of state relocation with a child?

After you have a permanent parenting plan with your former spouse, you or your spouse can choose to move out of state. If you are the custodial parent, however, you do have to petition the court with your intent to move, your location and the reason for your move.

According to the Tennessee Code, the noncustodial parent can question your decision.

How can the noncustodial parent object?

When your child spends equal intervals of time with you and your former spouse, your ex can object to the relocation. He or she has 30 days to file a petition in opposition to your child’s removal. You must wait until you have court permission to leave with your child. Generally, the parent who spends the most time with the child may move out of state with the child.

The exception is if the court finds that the relocation does not have a reasonable purpose or could pose a serious threat to the child.

What are serious threats?

A serious threat to the child includes:

  • Moving a child with a medical condition to a state without adequate treatment options
  • Moving in with a person who has a history of domestic abuse, child abuse or drug abuse
  • Moving when separation from the noncustodial parent would cause extreme emotional distress in the child
  • Moving to a foreign country where visitation rights for noncustodial parents have little enforcement
  • Moving to an area without specific educational requirements the child needs

If the court finds one or more reasons that the child should not relocate, then the court will decide whether he or she can relocate based on the best interests.