A judge in Tennessee had a good reason to award you primary custody of your child. However, after some time, your child may want to live with the other parent. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do in such a circumstance.
Things you can do
It may come as a shock to you when your child no longer wants to live with you. It’s not something a parent would expect, given how you might have fought for custody. However, this is the time you want to stay calm and level-headed to have a meaningful conversation with your child about their need for relocation. Try to find out the reasons why they want to live with the other parent, and then work on addressing them,
If the reasons are something that can be changed, like not getting enough attention from you, then make a plan to change that. If the reason is something that can’t be changed, like the other parent making more money, try to devise a compromise. For example, maybe your child can live with the other parent during the school year and spend summers with you.
You should also talk to the other parent about what’s going on. You’ll want to come to an agreement about what’s best for your child. But, if you can’t seem to be on the same page, you may have to go back to court.
Things you shouldn’t do
First of all, you’ll be making a mistake forcing your child to stay with you. This will only make the situation worse and could damage your relationship. Your child’s desire for relocation doesn’t mean you failed as a parent. So, don’t take it personally.
More importantly, it isn’t wise to badmouth the other parent to win favor again with your child. To them, they only see a parent they want in their life. Saying negative things about your ex will only hurt your child more.
Making the decision to change residency is a big one. But, if it’s what’s best for your child, then it’s worth considering.