Mother Wins Proper to Relocate With Little one Away from NFL Dad

Tennessee baby custody modification case abstract on mum or dad relocation and baby assist transportation prices.

In re McKayla H.

Mother Wins Proper to Relocate With Little one Away from NFL Dad

The kid on this Shelby County, Tennessee, case was born in 2008 to unwed mother and father whose relationship ended previous to the kid’s start.  On the time of the start, the mom lived in Virginia the place she had graduated from school.  The daddy attended the College of Tennessee the place he performed soccer.  The daddy drove to Virginia to go to her, and the mom introduced her to Tennessee to go to the daddy.  After commencement, the daddy signed with the Arizona Cardinals within the first spherical of the NFL draft.

The mom and baby later moved to Knoxville, and in 2011, the Juvenile court docket entered a parentage order.  The daddy was ordered to pay $2100 per 30 days in baby assist, however there was no visitation order.  In 2012, the daddy got here again to court docket to ascertain parenting time.  This was granted, structured round his soccer schedule.  About the identical time, the mom married, and since then, had three extra youngsters.

In 2013, the mom moved to Memphis, and the daddy sought to switch the case to Shelby County.  The daddy later bought a house in Fayette County.  He remained with the Cardinals till 2017, and by later that yr, he was coaching with the New York Giants and contemplating a contract.  In 2018, he filed a petition searching for equal parenting time.  By this time, the mom was searching for employment in one other state with the intention of relocating.  The events made an settlement by which the daddy had about 165 days of parenting time, however this settlement was by no means entered by the court docket.

In 2019, the mom was supplied a job in Virginia, and he or she despatched a discover of relocation.  The daddy opposed the request and requested the trial court docket to disclaim it.  He additionally requested to be named the first residential mum or dad.

The court docket appointed a guardian advert litem, and the kid, then 11 years outdated, testified.  A trial was held, however interrupted by the COVID pandemic.  The ultimate listening to was held later that yr, and in November, the court docket granted the mom’s petition for relocation, holding that it was within the baby’s greatest curiosity.  The daddy appealed to the Tennessee Court docket of Appeals, and after some post-trial motions, the case was determined in 2023.

After stating the usual of overview, the appeals court docket turned to the relocation challenge.  After explaining the procedural points, it mentioned the components surrounding relocation.

The primary issue is the involvement of the relocating mum or dad with the kid, and the appeals court docket discovered that this issue favored the mom, and famous that the connection with the mom’s husband was additionally “extraordinarily important.”

The subsequent issue thought-about was the age and wishes of the kid.  Right here, the decrease court docket had famous that the mom and stepfather had helped the kid with schoolwork and initiatives.  After extensively reviewing the proof, the appeals court docket agreed with the decrease court docket that this issue favored relocation.

The subsequent issue was the feasibility of sustaining the daddy’s relationship after relocation.   After reviewing the proof, it additionally agreed with the decrease court docket that this issue favored relocation.

With a baby over 12, the kid’s desire is an element.  Right here, the kid, who was virtually 12 on the time of trial, and over 12 when the order was entered, had testified, however each courts agreed that she had not expressed a powerful desire a technique or one other.

The court docket should additionally take into account whether or not there was any sample by the relocating mum or dad to thwart the opposite mum or dad’s relationship.  Each courts agreed that this issue favored relocation.

The kid’s normal high quality of life can be an element, and each courts additionally agreed that this issue favored relocation.

The mother and father’ motivations for supporting or opposing relocation is usually a issue, however on this case, each courts agreed that this issue didn’t assist both aspect.

After an in depth overview of the proof, the Court docket of Appeals agreed with the decrease court docket that relocation was correct.

The trial court docket had additionally assessed transportation prices in opposition to the daddy.  In affirming this ruling, the appeals court docket identified that as an NFL participant, the daddy had an earnings of $15 million within the earlier two years.  It additionally affirmed the ruling that the daddy ought to pay the guardian advert litem charges.

The appeals court docket additionally ordered the daddy to pay each the mom’s and the guardian advert litem’s legal professional charges on enchantment.

No. W2020-01528-COA-R3-JV (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 6, 2023).

See unique opinion for actual language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To be taught extra, see Modifying Custody & Parenting Plans and our video, How is baby custody decided in Tennessee?

To be taught extra, see Tennessee Mum or dad Relocation Statute Legislation.

See additionally Tennessee Parenting Plans and Child Support Worksheets: Building a Constructive Future for Your Family that includes examples of parenting plans and baby assist worksheets from actual instances obtainable on