Can I Move the Children Out of State?

Can I Move the Children Out of State?

There are numerous reasons you may want to take your children with you to another state after a divorce. Perhaps you want to move back home to be near family. Maybe you got a fantastic job offer that you just cannot turn down. Whatever the reason, you may be wondering, “ Can I move the children out of state? ” Only an experienced Murfreesboro, Tennessee family law attorney can give you advice specific to your situation but understanding the basics about child custody can be beneficial.


If you are the primary custodial parent and plan to move your children out of state you will need to follow the proper procedures for doing so to avoid problems with the court. You will generally be required to send written notification via registered or certified mail to the last known address of the other parent indicating your intent. Unless the court has excused you from this requirement due to exigent circumstances, you will usually need to mail this notification no later than 60 days prior to your move. That notification typically needs to include your intent to move, the location you plan to move to, reasons you want to go to that specific location, and a statement letting the other parent know that he or she has the right to petition in opposition of you moving with the children within 30 days of receipt of the notice.

If the other parent does not oppose the move and a mutually agreeable visitation schedule is worked out between the parties, the situation is handled, as long as the parties can also agree on a necessary parenting plan modification. However, that does not usually happen. The more likely scenario is that the other parent will object to you moving to another state with your children. In this situation you will typically need to petition the court and secure permission for the move and request a modified parenting plan schedule. The court will consider a variety of factors when deciding how to handle the situation, such as:


  • The reason for the move
  • The age of the children
  • The relationship the children have with the non-custodial parent


Given that no parent is in love with the idea of his or her child moving to another state, there is a good chance that your request will not be received well. Because this process has a finite timeframe, it is imperative that you contact a skilled Murfreesboro, Tennessee family law attorney the moment you consider moving to another state if you are the primary custodial parent.


Dinah Michael