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Child support and considerations when relocating after divorce

Divorced residents of Tennessee might agree that the finalization of a divorce is not always the end of divorce issues. Post-divorce issues, such as child support modification or relocation, are equally stressful and may require intervention by the court.

Tennessee law permits a custodial parent to relocate with the person's child, even if the non-custodial parent objects to relocation. If the court understands that the relocation is in the best interest of the child, it might sanction the move. The court also evaluates if the plan to relocate has any vindictive purpose and may deny the request is it finds one.

Also decided before the court is child support modification. Usually the non-custodial parent pays child support, but if that parent is unable to continue with payment because of financial hardships, a modification in the child support order can be sought in court. Circumstances, such as unemployment, remarriage or change in medical health, may be considered valid reasons for seeking a modification. In such cases, the court will carefully scrutinize all evidence and documentation before passing a judgment.

As relocation after divorce may be a challenging issue, many parents seek help from the court. If the parents arrive at a mutual agreement regarding relocation, they can prepare the visitation modification themselves. But if one parent objects to relocation, the relocating parent may need to make an appeal to the court for change in the plan.

Parents who are planning to seek a modification in a child support order, or looking to relocate after a divorce is final, may find it advantageous to first consult a lawyer who specializes in such cases. The law regarding these issues may be complicated and need a clearer understanding before approaching the family court.

Source: State.TN.us, "Review and Adjustment of Child Support Orders," November 2007

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