Jurisdiction of the children is in the state where they have lived for six months, it does not depend on the residence of the parents. If you and the children have lived in TN since 2004, then you can have jurisdiction transferred there.
He should not be able to get a passport for the children without your signature or a court order.
In accordance with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, the Secretary of State is required to refuse to issue, revoke, restrict or limit passports to noncustodial parents (NCPs) who are certified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as owing a child support arrearage amount greater than $2500.00
Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax
301 McCullough Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044
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.