There are many joys and difficulties associated with being a single parent. One of them relates to your physical location. Imagine you receive the best job offer of your life, and it’s in New York City. It’s been your dream to live in New York your entire life, but because you’re a single parent, it could be difficult to move out of state with your child.

From a legal perspective, just because relocating with your child as a single parent presents unique challenges does not mean that it will be impossible.

Child relocation: Terms you need to know

As with all legal issues, filing a petition to relocate with your child involves various legal terms and legal perspectives you might not be familiar with. Here is a short list of terminology that you could encounter during your legal proceedings:

Express consent: “Express consent” refers to situations in which single parents — usually the custodial parents — have the right to move out of state with their children. As a part of the express consent provision, there will be guidelines for how child visitation will be carried out in such instances. If the parent has the right to express consent, a clause can be found in the child custody plan.

Notice and consent: “Notice and consent” refers to the requirement that the custodial parent provide sufficient written notice that he or she intends to move. This notice must be provided within a certain period of time depending on the state laws involved. Usually it’s 30, 60, or 90 days prior to the date of the move. Additionally, in certain circumstances, the noncustodial parent must offer consent for the move. In other circumstances, the noncustodial parent will have the right to file a legal action to stop the move.

Distance: Distance refers to how far away a parent may move. Sometimes, the parent is limited to less than 100 miles. In other cases, crossing state lines is also an important factor that could limit a parent’s move.

Good faith burden of proof: If the law does not automatically support the custodial parent’s move, or if the other parent is protesting the move, the custodial parent may need to submit a petition to gain the court’s approval. In this process, the custodial parent must satisfy the good faith burden of proof by showing a viable reason for the move. This reason might be: better living costs, moving closer to supportive family members, having a profitable new job offer, continuing education. If no good faith reasons exist, a court could object to the move.

Prepare your relocation request carefully

The more you understand Tennessee relocation laws as they apply to single parents, the better you’ll be able to prepare your petition to relocate. Because a move could dramatically transform your life, and the lives of your children, for the better, make sure that you handle your relocation request carefully in this regard.