Jurisdication change

As far as I know (I’m not an attorney, so they’re better able to answer your questions), child custody/support orders usually remain in the jurisdiction that they were issued in, as long as at least one of the (former) spouses continuously maintains a residence in that state.

Jurisdiction determines which courts can hear a case, and who they have power to summon or otherwise affect. If the TN courts cannot get jurisdiction over your ex (which may not be possible, that would depend on the TN long-arm statute, your ex’s actions, and how the kids ended up in TN), they don’t have the authority to modify the child support order.

So then, jurisdication does not follow the children?


As far as I know (an attorney who specializes in child custody work would be a more authoritative source, and I’m not one), under UIFSA, jurisdiction does not follow the children as long as the originating state can maintain jurisdiction.

If the originating state loses jurisdiction (by virtue of both spouses no longer residing in the state), it then follows the children, but not until then.

Also, if both spouses agree to do so, jurisdiction can be changed.

Whether this is likely to occur would depend on TN & NC law, yours and your ex’s situation(s), and whether your ex consulted with a TN attorney before agreeing to switch jurisdiction.

Will an attorney please reply?


I have had to deal with jurisdiction of 2 states. And actually what I have learned is that the jurisdiction does follow the kids. They have to be residents of the state for at least 6 months and then you can request the new court to take over jurisdiction or NC can also decline jurisdiction if they have been out of the state for a long time.
Hope this helps !!!

Jurisdiction for child custody is determined using the residence of the children. If your children have lived in Tennessee for more than six months Tennessee has jurisdiction. You can register your order in Tennesee and they will enforce it. If your spouse were to file something in North Carolina, you would simply move to have the case transferred to TN.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My ex and I have been divorced since August 2005. Me and the two boys ages 10 and 4 live in TN and have since August 2004. Ex is still in NC. My question is… How do I go about getting the jurisdication changed to TN? Everything from the divorce to child custody and child support was done through NC. What exactly does jurisdication mean anyway??? If jurisdication is changed to TN does that mean that another custody hearing has to take place and is child support then calcualted through TN regulations? Can he fight for the jurisdication to stay in NC if the children no longer live in that state. Doesn’t jurisdication follow the children and what state that are currently living in and have for the last several years?