Parents in Tennessee who separate or divorce have a long future ahead of co-parenting, sharing child custody and visitation. Since children can benefit so greatly from a relationship with both parents absent a situation of abuse or neglect, parents must keep certain issues in mind if they think about moving for a job or another opportunity. If one of the individuals wants to move more than 50 miles from the other person’s home or outside the state, he or she must contact the other parent under the guidelines that were established by the state.

In general, this notice must be sent at least two months prior to the planned move. This requirement can be excused in emergency circumstances, such as a move to care for a critically ill relative. The notice must include a statement of the intention to move, the reason for the move and the location of the planned new residence. Under state law, the other parent can file a petition to object to the relocation within 30 days of receiving this notice. In some cases, the parents may be able to negotiate a new visitation schedule that takes the move into consideration.

Relocation is handled differently when parents share joint custody or when one parent has the majority of child custody responsibilities. In the case of joint custody and a dispute over a move, the family court will make a decision based on the child’s best interests. If one parent has primary custody, the court will allow the move unless there are specific problems that could result.

After a divorce, it is still important to keep the other parent in mind if considering a move when children are involved. A family law attorney can help parents deal with the issues that emerge when they consider a relocation that would change their child custody plan.