Can a party relocate to a different state during pending divorce litigation?


My wife has left the state while our divorce case is still ongoing. Can she legally relocate while there is still pending divorce litigation?



First let me preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed in the state of Tennessee, although Cordell & Cordell does have attorneys who are licensed in Tennessee who would be happy to discuss your case with you.

Almost every state is different in how it approaches parents who relocate with or without the children to a different state during the pendency of a dissolution of marriage. Generally speaking, unless there is an order from the Court or something else that would prevent relocation, then a party is free to move or relocate to where they want to.

I usually advise my client that if they are fearful their spouse will move with the children or take them to another state without returning them, then they need to seek protection from the Court to attempt to prevent this from happening. Relocation is an issue that I believe is easier to deal with before it happens and not after it happens.

You should seek the counsel of an attorney who is licensed in your state to get specific advice as to what your rights are and to protect your rights in this case.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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