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What if your ex-spouse wants to move away with your kids?

Maintaining a strong relationship with your children following your divorce in Clarksville can be difficult even in situations where you and your ex-spouse share custody. Imagine how much more strained your relationship may become if your ex tries to move away with the kids. Fortunately, Tennessee law has guidelines meant to regulate parental relocation.

According to state laws, your spouse cannot simply pack up with the kids and leave. He or she must first send you notice at least 60 days prior to relocating stating his or her intent, his or her motivations for moving, and where he or she is planning on moving to. His or her notice must also include that you have the right to file a petition to oppose the move within 30 days of you being notified.

If you and your ex-spouse spend equal amounts of time with the children and you attempt to block his or her move, the court will render its decision allowing the move to proceed based upon what it views to be the best interest of your children. Factors that go into determining this may include:

  • The degree to which your ex-spouse has been the kids’ primary caregiver.
  • The likelihood he or she will honor your amended custody agreement once out of the state’s jurisdiction.
  • The stability of your current relationship with your children.
  • The costs associated with your kids traveling to see you frequently.

If your ex-spouse currently spends a majority of the time with your kids, the court would likely only bar the move if it presents the risk or serious harm to your children, or he or she has no valid reason to move. If vindictiveness is believed to be behind the move, the court may also choose to stop it.  

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