After your divorce, you must obtain court permission to relocate with your minor child anywhere greater than 50 miles from your present location or out of state if your child’s other parent objects to your move. Section 36-6-108 of the Tennessee Code sets forth the procedure you must follow.
First, you must send notice to your child’s other parent by certified mail at least 60 days before your planned move. Your notice must include the following:
- A statement of your intent to relocate
- The location of your proposed new residence
- The reasons why you need to relocate
- A statement that your child’s other parent may, if desired, file a petition in opposition to your proposed relocation within 30 days
If your child’s other parent fails to object to your proposed relocation, you can go ahead and move without court permission.
If your child’s other parent files objections, the two of you will then need to go to court and let the judge resolve the issue. He or she will take numerous factors, including the following, into consideration to determine if the relocation is in the best interests of your child:
- The nature and extent of your child’s relationship with you and his or her other parent, siblings and other significant people
- How best to preserve your child’s relationship with his or her other parent after your move
- Your child’s needs and developmental state and the likely impact your proposed relocation will have on them
- Your child’s own preference if he or she is age 12 or older
- The reasons why you want to relocate and why your child’s other parent opposes your move
The court will also consider your past post-divorce conduct in terms of how you either promoted or attempted to thwart your child’s relationship with his or her other parent.