I’ve been getting a lot of questions on this topic and a case came out a few days ago that addresses it, so I wanted to just do a quick blip about transferring parenting cases out of state.

If your divorce originated in Tennessee, you do not just get to move to a different state with the child or children and then transfer the case. This is a big deal in Tennessee, since we border numerous other states and frequently have parents move 30-45 minutes away to Kentucky, Georgia, etc.

“A Tennessee court does not lose subject matter jurisdiction merely because the child moves to another state…something more is required…continuing jurisdiction is not lost until the originating court determines that significant connections and substantial evidence are no longer available in the forum state.”

Let me translate this – you don’t get to just move states and then transfer your case. You need more than just a move, especially if the other parent is still residing in the other state. Even if that parent has moved counties, depending on the facts the Tennessee court may STILL keep your case. It is the decision the judge who made the original ruling in your matter about whether or not they want to give up jurisdiction over the matter and move the case to a different court in a different state for modification.

Long story short, you don’t get to just move and then take your case with you. This is a complicated area and you may find yourself litigating here in Tennessee while you and the child have relocated 10 states away. Likewise, if you suddenly get served with a petition from a different state, contact an attorney immediately as you may be able to defeat the action from the get go as being filed in the wrong court.

Looking to modify a parenting plan? Call to set up a consultation with Nashville divorce attorney Morgan Smith at (615) 620-5848. We serve Middle Tennessee and primarily Davidson, Sumner, and Williamson counties.