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Dealing with a parental relocation

Divorced parents in Tennessee might initially plan to live near one another for the sake of the children, but if they meet new partners who live some distance away, they may want to move to be nearer thems. This can create a problem in terms of custody and visitation. The bulk of providing transportation may fall on one parent who might resent it.

The problem in this situation is that parents may end up focusing on their own needs and frustrations rather than those of their children. There may also be conflict between parents and new partners. The parent who moved may want the same visitation schedule even though it may be disruptive because of the distance while the parent who has primary physical custody may want to keep the child nearer home.

Parents may be surprised to find that although the marriage is over, their conflicts are not. This is not unusual. One study found that up to one-half of people were still angry with their former spouses a decade after the divorce. However, it is important for parents to focus on the best interests of their children. They might want to consider mediation to work out their differences and reach a compromise. The parent who has moved may need to work harder to integrate the child into the new community.

When parents divorce, they often create an agreement that will cover some of the major points about co-parenting. However, they cannot anticipate every conflict that might arise. They may want to address how they will resolve conflict whether it is turning to mediation or some other approach. It is best if parents are able to resolve conflicts among themselves rather than dragging every argument before a judge although for any major changes, such as a change in how much child support is paid, a court modification may be needed.

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Stanley A. Kweller, Attorney at Law
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Nashville, TN 37201

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