Parental Relocation Lawyers in Clarksville Helping Parents Work Toward What’s Best for Their Children
Before you had a custody agreement, relocation was as simple as finding a new home and making sure you have enough boxes. But once the family courts are involved, it’s not so easy. In many cases, the relocating parent must get permission from the other parent or the courts to be able to relocate. While we’ve provided some general information on parental relocation below, it’s important that you seek legal advice before getting too far in the process to ensure that relocation is something that is available to you and you know how to petition the courts for approval.
Whether you’re the moving parent or you just found out that the other parent of your child is planning a relocation, it’s important to talk to a family law attorney. Relocating when you have a custody order isn’t as easy as just deciding where to move and packing up. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at our firm to find out what you need to know to make sure you handle this situation properly.
Can I Relocate If I’m Under a Child Custody Order?
It is possible to relocate if you have a child custody order, but you have to follow the proper process. In 2018, the state of Tennessee changed how it handled parental relocation to require that there be a review of what is in the best interests of the before a relocation petition can move forward. This is true whether you are a parent who has primary custody or there is a joint custody agreement in place. If the parents agree on any changes to the custody arrangement or visitation schedule, the courts may be more likely to sign off on the relocation. But the absent agreement between the parties, the court determines what is in the best interests of the child and how it affects both the relocating parent and the nonrelocating parent.
What Are the Responsibilities of the Relocating Parent?
As soon as the relocating parent intends to start the process of looking for a new residence or finds out that they are facing relocation due to their job, they are responsible for notifying the nonrelocating parent and filing a petition for the relocation with the family courts. In addition to the paperwork, it’s also important for the relocating parent to think about how the relocation may affect the child and ensure that they are taking into consideration how the move will affect visitation and other matters. For example, a child with special needs may have to change caregiving or school environments, which can cause extra stress. These are the types of things that the courts consider when deciding whether to approve a relocation.
Do I Have to Give the Other Parent Notice?
Yes, as the relocating parent, you are required by law to provide the other parent with notice that you are planning to relocate as well as the address of the proposed new residence if you have it. This notice must be served to the nonrelocating parent at least 60 days before the relocation is supposed to happen. This ensures that the other parent has time to get legal advice and file an objection if they wish.
Will We Have to Modify the Custody Agreement?
If the parental relocation is simply within the same town, it’s possible that it won’t involve any changes to the parenting time. However, if the move is more than 50 miles from the other parent or takes the child out of state, it’s likely that the court will want to make sure that the existing custody and visitation order makes sense, given the move. If the custody agreement changes, it’s also possible that the child support order may also need to be reevaluated to ensure that it accurately reflects the parents’ finances and is appropriate for the new situation.
Sometimes, it’s necessary for the relocating parent to move for employment or to be closer to family, but it’s important to remember that the most important factor is the best interests of the children. Contact our law firm at 931-236-2711 to speak with a lawyer about your relocation petition. We pride ourselves on our compassionate representation and are here to help.