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Relocating is a fact of life, and one that is more common following a divorce or separation. Many separated or divorced parents must move away from the homes, sometimes as far as a different state or country. In addition to the usual issues related to relocation, divorced parents must also consider how their move will affect their relationship and/or their former spouse’s relationship with their child. The need to relocate can have a powerful impact on the relationship a parent has with his or her child.

Relocating with a Child Requires Approval

Each parent has a legal right to spend time with his or her child. This means a custodial parent is not permitted to move without agreement from his or her child’s non-custodial parent or the court.

Receiving approval for a move, however necessary, can be complicated and frustrating. The key to receiving approval is the creation of a reasonable parenting plan that enables a child to spend time with both parents, despite the move. And depending on the distance of the move, the plan must also account for travel costs. Sending a child to spend time with his or her non-custodial parent can be expensive – an expense that is not necessarily the responsibility of the one traveling. We also will fight against parental relocation when such relocation violates Tennessee law.

International Relocation

It’s difficult enough when a parent must move out of state, but what happens if a parent must relocate to a different country? The logistics of visiting a child from another country is even more complicated and expensive.

The court understands relocation challenges associated with international relocation are extremely challenging and considers even more factors when making a decision. In addition to assessing the reason for the move, they also look at the conditions within the other country, as well as whether or not any of the custody laws within the destination will interfere with a parent’s rights.

Relocation Doesn’t Mean an End to Your Relationship with Your Child

It’s important to realize – whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent – relocation doesn’t mean your relationship or your child’s other parent’s relationship with the child will end. Both parents continue to have rights and the well-being of the child is still the most important factor in the decision-making process.

Managing a relocation can be challenging, too. It’s imperative you have an experienced attorney on your side, helping you with the process and ensuring your rights and the rights of your child are protected.

It’s also important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible if you are the non-custodial parent objecting to the relocation of your child. There is a limited amount of time in which you can dispute the move and if you do not take appropriate action quickly, the court will assume you have no problem with the move.

If you would like to know more or you are facing a relocation issue that will affect the custody of your child in some way, I can help. Contact The Law Office of Brion L. Gardner 615.556.1287 for more information.