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In the case that the nonmoving parent files an objection to the relocation, the case will proceed to a court hearing. To decide on relocation, the court will examine whether both parents share equal time with the child and whether the relocation is in the child’s best interests. If both parents do share equal time with the child, the court will consider best-interest includes factors like:
- the extent to which both parents exercised visitation rights with the child;
- the likelihood that the residential parent will comply with a new visitation order if the relocation is approved;
- the quality of the parent-child relationship;
- the quality of care for the child from the primary caregiver;
- the importance of stability in the child's life;
- the stability of the family unit;
- the physical and mental health of both parents;
- the home, school, and community of the child;
- the child's preference (if they are 12 years or older);
- any evidence of child abuse; and
- the character and behavior of anyone else living in the home or frequently visiting the home and the child's interaction with those individuals.
If the parents do not share equal time with the child and the relocating parent has the majority of the time with the child, the court will likely allow the relocation. However, the nonmoving parent can object if they show that:
- the relocation is not reasonable and interferes with their visitation rights; or
- the relocation will pose a threat of serious harm to the child (e.g., the child has specific educational needs and the proposed new residence does not have adequate educational facilities).
If you are currently dealing with a relocation issue, whether you are the relocating parent or the nonmoving parent, contact Stacey and Ballew for legal assistance. Relocation matters can become quite complex, and they often involve intricate custody modifications. Our attorneys have experience handling a range of family legal matters and can offer a more well-rounded approach to your relocation case.
What Is Considered Relocation?
A custodial parent who wants to relocate with their child must first send notice to the other parent, who may either consent to the move or request the court to deny the relocation or modify custody. Note that a formal relocation requiring both parents’ consent is a move that is more than 50 miles from the other parent’s residence or out of the state. If the move is less than 50 miles away and still within Tennessee, the moving parent does not need to pursue a formal relocation request process.
To notify the other parent of a relocation proposal, the custodial parent must send a written notice to them no later than 60 days before the date of the move. Unless otherwise instructed, the notice should contain:
- a statement of the parent’s intent to move;
- the location of the new residence;
- the reasons for the relocation; and
- a statement that the other parent may file a petition to object to the move within 30 days of receiving the notice.
If the other parent does not file an objection, the moving parent can proceed with the relocation after 30 days without having to go to a court hearing. However, both parents must agree on a new custody and visitation schedule that accommodates the change in location, or the moving parent must file a request for modification of custody and visitation with the court.
Reach out to Stacey and Ballew today to discuss your Nashville relocation issue. Free 30-minute consultations available.