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Relocating out of state. Father doesn't see child but does pay minimal child support.

Duluth, MN |

My husband and I are trying to move to Tennessee and currently live in Minnesota with our son (his step-son). My son's biological father lives in the same state but hasn't seen my son for a year and half (he is now three). He does pay minimal child support but he does not seek to see him as of now and he is not granted any parenting time.

How do we go about moving out of state? I am scared of talking to my son's father as he is a very angry man. I am just not sure about how to go about getting that request to him.

Attorney Answers 2


Whether a parent can relocate out of the state depends on your current circumstances. If there has never been a court order entered establishing a parenting schedule for you, then the mother, may relocate without consent. If there has been a case regarding parenting time, even if it was not awarded, a parent cannot relocate of the state with a minor child unless that parent has:

(1) Consent of the other parent, if that parent has been given parenting time by an order or decree; or

(2) An order of the court allowing the relocation.

As a result, it is incumbent upon the parent seeking to relocate out of state to file a Motion and acquire and order allowing that relocation before doing so. A failure to follow this procedure creates a grave risk that dissenting parent may seek an ex parte order changing custody immediately pending a hearing on the issue.

If the matter proceeds to Court, the Judge may not allow the relocation if it is demonstrated that the purpose of the move is to interfere with parenting time given to the other parent by the decree. In the past when determining whether to allow a parent to relocate with the child, there was a presumption in favor of maintaining the present custodial arrangement. In other words, the custodial parent had the advantage and a presumption in his/her favor which often ended up with the court allowing the relocation.

The factors the court must consider in determining the child's best interests include, but are not limited to:

(1) the nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child's relationship with the person proposing to relocate and with the nonrelocating person, siblings, and other significant persons in the child's life;

(2) the age, developmental stage, needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child's physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration special needs of the child;

(3) the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating person and the child through suitable parenting time arrangements, considering the logistics and financial circumstances of the parties;

(4) the child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child;

(5) whether there is an established pattern of conduct of the person seeking the relocation either to promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the nonrelocating person;

(6) whether the relocation of the child will enhance the general quality of the life for both the custodial parent seeking the relocation and the child including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity;

(7) the reasons of each person for seeking or opposing the relocation; and

(8) the effect on the safety and welfare of the child, or of the parent requesting to move the child's residence, of domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01.

It is critical to note that the new statute places the burden of proof on the parent requesting to move the residence of the child to another state, except that if the court finds that the person requesting permission to move has been a victim of domestic abuse by the other parent, the burden of proof is upon the parent opposing the move. If relocation is allowed, the court often requires the parent that relocated to pay the greater share of costs related to transportation for parenting time.

For a consultation call 612.240.8005.

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Thank you so much,. There has never been a case regarding parenting time. The only hearing was for the child support and he never even showed to that. I very much appreciate your feedback!


It sounds like you have a good case as a large part is the relationship between the child and parent. It states that he is not granted any parenting time. Was custody and parenting time addressed or just child support. If you can move and move, be aware that the father can bring a custody and parenting time action in Minnesota as this was the child's home state, provided he brings the action within six months of your move. Please feel free to call to discuss further. 651-604-0711

The opinions in this answer are based upon limited facts. Specific facts can change advice and answers provided. The answer provided herein is not meant to be relied upon as a legal opinion and is only provided for general guidance. No attorney-client relationship is meant to be formed by the posting of this answer.

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