Parental Relocation


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Parental Relocation


Permanent Parenting Plans in the state of Tennessee contain a section concerning parental relocation. The statute for parental relocation can be found in Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-6-108.

The statute reads in pertinent part as follows:

If a parent who is spending intervals of time with a child desires to relocate outside the state or more than fifty (50) miles from the other parent within the state, the relocating parent shall send a notice to the other parent at the other parent’s last known address by registered or certified mail. Unless excused by the court for exigent circumstances, the notice shall be mailed not later than sixty (60) days prior to the move. The notice shall contain the following:

(1)Statement of intent to move;

  1. Location of proposed new residence;
  2. Reasons for proposed relocation; and
  3. Statement that the other parent may file a petition in opposition to the move within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice.

For years, the application of this statute has not been consistently applied, and usually placed the burden of proof on the parent that desired to relocate. However, in March 2017, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an opinion that held that the burden in parental relocation cases is actually on the non-relocating parent. Based on this recent Tennessee Supreme Court case, the trial court must allow the parent who spends the greater amount of time with the child to relocate with the child unless the parent who opposes the move proves at least one of three grounds: (1) that the proposed move would pose a threat of serious harm to the child; (2) that the relocating parent’s motive is vindictive; or (3) that the move does not have a reasonable purpose.

In issuing this ruling, the Tennessee Supreme Court is making parental relocation cases more clear cut and placing the burden on the parent that opposes the relocation.

A copy of the recent Tennessee Supreme Court case involving parental relocation can be found here: Aragon v. Aragon

If you are find yourself involved in a parental relocation situation, and would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please call our office at (615) 956-7938 and allow our attorneys and staff to help you through this stressful situation.