Lawrenceville, GA asked in Family Law for Tennessee

Q: Can a mother (never married) move out of state with child? There is no court custody arrangement or parenting plan.

My step-daughter lives in Martin TN with her 11 month old daughter. The child's father also lives in the area, but they do not live together. Due to financial strain, she would like to move back home to Georgia. There is no court signed custody arrangement or parenting plan in place, so can she simply move without the father's consent? Is there a more appropriate path to prevent potential issues in the future? The father does not have steady employment/income, transportation, or even a license to drive, so he offers very little assistance as he can barely care for himself. Moving back home would provide a much more stable environment for mother and child.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison
  • Brentwood, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Most likely, yes. The parental relocation requirements under TN law to seek court approval to relocate only applies when there is a court ordered parenting plan in place. TN is known as a Mother's state because if the parents are unmarried, the father does not have rights to custody until petitioning the court. Good luck.

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