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When One Parent Wants to Move


What happens in Tennessee when one parent wants to relocate? When one of two parents involved in raising a child wants to move, there are various steps required by Tennessee law.

First of all, there are specific requirements setting out when and how the parent who wants to move must give notice to the other parent.
If there is a dispute between parents about the move, there are many factors that will be considered. 

Tennessee law treats situations differently based on the amount of time the parents are spending with their children. If parents are spending the same amount of time with their children or “substantially equal” amounts of time, courts are directed to determine whether the move is “in the best interest of the child”. The statute sets out 11 factors for courts to consider when relevant.

If the mother and father are spending unequal amounts of time with the child or children, the parent spending the greater amount time with the child will be allowed to move unless the court finds “the relocation does not have a reasonable purpose”, the relocation would pose a serious threat to the child, or the move is intended to get in the way of the the visitation time of the other parent. 

Because terms such as “best interest of the child”, “reasonable purpose”, and “specific harm” lend themselves to wide interpretation, cases involving a parent attempting to move with a child are the subject of many cases before the court of appeals. The cases are largely determined by the unique facts presented to the court. 

For more information about parent relocation issues, it is important to discus the facts of your case with a qualified attorney.