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Parenting arrangements potentially can be modified in two primary ways: 1) changes to the residential parenting schedule; or 2) a change in “custody,” i.e., the designation of the primary residential parent who has residential time with the children the majority of the time. Obviously, the latter is much more difficult to accomplish.
A party requesting a change in custody must meet the standard set forth in Tenn. Code Ann. §36-6-101(a)(2)(B), which requires the petitioner to prove:
a material change in circumstance. A material change of circumstance does not require a showing of a substantial risk of harm to the child. A material change of circumstance may include, but is not limited to, failures to adhere to the parenting plan or an order of custody and visitation or circumstances that make the parenting plan no longer in the best interest of the child.
Since your ex has essentially given up custody this standard should not be hard to meet. The court will also change the child support agreement in conjunction with the change in custody. Since the type of motions can be complicated I would retain an attorney to get this change and also any appropriate changes in the child support agreements done as well.
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