Under the statute, if the party opposes the move, the petition in opposition is supposed to be filed within thirty days. In this case, the Davidson Circuit Court allowed the father to proceed on his petition, in spite of the fact that he filed the petition to oppose three (3) days late. The Court actually held a hearing on the father's petition in opposition and ruled that there was no reasonable purpose for the mother's move and made the father the primary residential parent.
On appeal, the Court ruled that the language of T.C.A. Section 36-6-108(g) made the filing of a petition in opposition to a notice to relocate within thirty days mandatory. Because the father in this case filed his petition within thirty-three days, it did not count, even though he orally told the mother that he opposed the relocation. Because the father did not timely file his petition for opposition, the mother should have been allowed to move, notwithstanding the absence of harm or prejudice to the relocating parent due to the untimely petition.
The Court stated that since the petition to oppose was untimely filed, the Circuit Court erred by allowing a hearing or any further analysis of 36-6-108. The appellate court therefore reversed the ruling of the lower court and ordered that the mother be allowed to relocate with her child to Omaha, Nebraska.