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Can I move my child out of Tennessee?

Whether you are in the process of divorcing or have been co-parenting with someone else for some time already, you may be wondering if you can move your child out of Tennessee. The answer is, as with many things, "It depends."

For example, if the other parent is on board with the child's move, then it becomes a lot more feasible. However, if the matter comes up before a judge to decide, here are some factors the judge is likely to prioritize:

The child's opinion

Children 12 and older are given the opportunity to state their preferences on making a move. Your child may be in favor of it, against it or neutral. Depending on the situation, the child's maturity and the child's age, the judge may decide to assign this factor the greatest value. Suppose the child you want to move out of state is 17, is going to graduate from high school in the next year, does not want to move and has a good relationship with the other parent. In such a case, the odds could be stacked against your preferences.

The proposed co-parenting schedule

Another important factor judges consider is the role the other parent will continue to play in the child's life. For example, if you are proposing a move out of state, you often help your chances if you come up with a proposal that allows for generous visitation as well as telephone and video chat.

The child's stability

And then there is the role of the move as far as it concerns the child's stability. Suppose the move is for you to take a higher-paying job that means a lot less stress in the child's life. A judge may see that as a tremendous advantage that makes the move worthwhile. Also, if you are the parent the child spends a majority of time with, then your wishes likely take on more precedence than your ex's.

Whether procedures are followed

Parents should also follow regulations such as letting the other parent know at least 60 days beforehand that a move is planned and the reasons why. If you fail to follow these guidelines, it could hurt you in court later. 

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