How a parent can secure permission to move when they share custody

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Child Custody |

Trying to share custody in Tennessee generally means that parents have to split time with their children. They also generally need to work with one another to agree on important parenting matters. A custody order approved by the courts establishes their obligations to one another and their children.

Usually, the parents in the family have a responsibility to follow the exact terms of their custody arrangement whenever possible and cooperate with one another when minor adjustments are necessary.  Still, people may find themselves in scenarios in which their current custody order no longer works for the family.

Those co-parenting in Tennessee often face major life changes after their divorce or non-marital split. Someone might receive an excellent job offer in Arkansas or inherit a property from their grandmother on the other side of the state. How can someone who shares custody and needs to move arrange to do so while complying with Tennessee family law rules?

Advance permission is typically necessary

If someone simply moves from an apartment to a larger rented home in the same area, they usually don’t need approval from any outside parties to improve their personal circumstances. Their move should have minimal impact on the rights of the other parent or their custody arrangements.

However, if the relocation involves a significant distance or a change in legal jurisdictions, then the parent moving away with the children may require the approval of their co-parent or the Tennessee family courts. Their move could impact custody exchanges and may require a review of the existing custody order.

Any move that is 50 miles away from where the children currently reside or that takes someone out of the state requires pre-approval. A co-parent might agree to cooperate and make some changes to the custody arrangements. The parents could then file an uncontested custody modification request.

Contested relocation cases require judicial review. A Tennessee family law judge can hear from both parents and determine whether allowing the move would be in the best interests of the children. The distance involved, the current family dynamics and the reasoning behind the move can all influence what the courts determine would be appropriate.

Understanding the rules that apply to relocation cases when parents share custody may help those planning for the future to make informed decisions about their options.