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Moving Away With the Kids After a Divorce


For the most part, Americans are quite literally a people on the move. Almost everyone will relocate at least once in their lifetime, and it is estimated that as much as 10% of the population moves every year. People often cite a number of different reasons as to why they are motivated to move; according to information shared by, a change in marital status ranks among the most common.

Yet even if moving away after a divorce is common, that does necessarily mean that it is easy. Indeed, if a person shares custody of their children with an ex-spouse, relocating to another area can be a very complex process.

Notifying an ex-spouse of one’s intention to move

Fortunately, thanks to the details provided in Section 36-6-108 of Tennessee’s Domestic Relations Code, one can easily discover what they need to do in order to avoid potential legal troubles. Here it states that the relocating parent must inform the other of their intention of moving at least 60 days prior to relocating. That notice must include the following information:

  • A statement of intent
  • The reason for the relocation
  • The location they plan to move to (including their new address, if already known)
  • Notice that the non-relocating parent has 30 days to file a petition opposing the move

If no opposition occurs and the court finds that the parent’s reasons for needing to relocate are legitimate (and not in any way vindictive towards their ex-spouse), the move will be supported.

Avoiding unanticipated custodial changes

Even if the move is permitted, the relocating parent should prepare for the potential of their current custody agreement being modified. They can control these changes, however, by working with their ex-spouse to come up with an amended agreement on their own. If the court sees that both sides support it, it will typically sign off on it.