Couple with Divorce Contract and Ring on Desk

Is It Possible to Relocate With Children After a Divorce? 

Brazil Clark, PLLC Dec. 26, 2022

Every year, millions of Americans relocate for different reasons, including a new home, new job, education, family reasons, or to establish their own household. However, parental relocation often presents various challenges in divorce situations involving minor children. 

In Tennessee, custodial parents who want to relocate with children must notify the other parent or seek approval from the court system. An experienced Tennessee family law attorney can help you understand your rights and options to relocate with children after marital dissolution. 

The attorneys at Brazil Clark, PLLC, are poised and ready to advise and guide clients in the legal matters of divorce and parental relocation. Attorney Frank Brazil and his dedicated team can explore your possible options to relocate with children after your divorce and guide you through the legal processes involved. The firm proudly serves clients throughout Nashville and Rutherford County, Tennessee. 

Relocating With Your Child 

After a divorce or after entering a child custody or parenting plan order, parenting can become quite complex. Even when you want to seek a new beginning through relocation, you still need to consult your estranged partner before moving with your child. 

According to Tennessee law, a residential or custodial parent that wants to relocate with a child must provide a formal notice if: 

  • They want to move more than 50 miles away from the other parent's residence. 

  • They want to move out of state. 

In addition, the written notice must be provided to the other parent (nonmoving parent) and the Tennessee court at least 60 days prior to the proposed move. Should the other parent deny the relocation request, a court hearing may be scheduled to change custody or determine whether the move is in the child's best interests. 

Notification Requirements 

When planning a move, the relocation notice sent to the nonmoving parent must contain the information below: 

  • A statement of your intent to relocate 

  • The reasons for the proposed move 

  • The address you are moving to 

  • A statement that the nonmoving parent may file a petition objecting to the move within 30 days of receiving the relocation notice 

If the relocation notice meets the necessary requirements and the nonmoving parent fails to file an objection petition within 30 days, the residential parent can proceed with the move. Conversely, a hearing will be scheduled if the other parent objects. At the parental relocation hearing, the court will only approve the move if it is in the best interest of the child. 

Factors the Court Will Consider 

At the relocation hearing, the Tennessee court will consider the following factors to determine whether relocating will be in the child's best interest: 

  • The child's reasonable preference – if they are at least 12 years old 

  • The child's school, home, and community record 

  • The existing relationship between the parent and the child 

  • Both parents' physical and mental health 

  • The quality of care provided to the child by the primary caregiver 

  • Whether the residential parent will comply with the new parenting time if relocation is granted 

  • The stability of the child's family 

  • The need for stability in the child's life 

  • Any evidence of child abuse or neglect 

What's more, if the court approves the relocation request, the relocating parent must file a petition requesting the court to adjust the existing visitation schedule. A trusted Tennessee child custody lawyer can help file your relocation petition, represent you intelligently at the hearing, and increase your chances of getting the best possible outcome. 

Visitation for the Noncustodial Parent  

Once the relocation request is approved, both parents must agree to a new visitation schedule. If not, the relocating parent must file a petition seeking a change in the visitation schedule. Before the request can be approved, the parent seeking modification must show that: 

  • There has been a "material change in circumstances," and 

  • Modifying the existing parenting plan is in the "best interests of the children." 

An experienced divorce lawyer can guide you through the modification process and work to achieve a child custody order and visitation schedule that will be in the best interests of your family. 

Brazil Clark, PLLC Can Assist 

Relocating with children after a divorce often creates possible issues for the parents. As the custodial parent, you must notify your child's other parent, seek approval from the court, and modify parenting time. Therefore, consulting with an experienced family law attorney is crucial for proper guidance and to help you navigate crucial decisions. 

Brazil Clark, PLLC, is committed to guiding clients through the complex procedures involved in relocating with children after a divorce. Attorney Frank Brazil and his skilled team can review your unique circumstances and help decide if relocation is in your children's best interests. In addition, they will represent you intelligently in every phase of the legal proceedings and help negotiate a feasible parenting time with your child's other parent. 

Contact Brazil Clark, PLLC, today to schedule a simple consultation with practiced child custody lawyers. Attorney Frank Brazil and his knowledgeable team can fight diligently for your custody and relocation rights and help achieve the most favorable outcome in your case. The firm proudly serves clients throughout Nashville and Rutherford County, Tennessee.