Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
A Family Law Firm - Clarkville, TN
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A More Progressive Approach to Legal Representation

Will an across-the-state move be a good move for your child?

You are thrilled about a new job offer. There is one problem, though: The new position is located in the southern part of Tennessee about four hours’ drive from Clarksville.

As the custodial parent, you plan to take your eight-year-old with you when you move, and you know you must get permission. Will the court approve your request?

One step at a time

First, you should inform your ex-spouse of your new job and find out if s/he is for or against taking your son with you when you move. The court will expect you to do this promptly. Visitation would not be out of the question, but due to the distance between homes, you and the other parent would have to agree on a new arrangement.

What the court will consider

It is not uncommon for the court to take a dim initial view of a relocation request. The judge may believe that removing a child from an established home, routine, school and friends may not be in his or her best interest. However, a new job is a valid reason for a move. The judge will want to know what educational and leisure opportunities the child will have in the new location. The age of your son or daughter will also be a consideration. The judge may wish to speak with your child to determine his or her thoughts about the move and whether your child would prefer living with the non-custodial parent.

Preparing for court

In a case involving the relocation of a child, both parents should be well prepared to present their side of the issue. As the parent who wishes to relocate, you will have the most difficult burden of proof, so you will need to have the pertinent information at hand about your new home, the community, schooling for your son or daughter and other matters pertinent to the proposed move. Since the travel distance will mean a change in visitation arrangements, you might also consider allowing longer vacation visits so that your child can retain a bond with the other parent.

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Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
412 Franklin Street
Clarksville, TN 37040

Phone: 931-444-3153
Fax: 931-278-6642
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