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How do I do a modification of a sister state judgment (get a CA judge to modify a TN order)?

Los Angeles, CA |

My ex-fiance and I had a child together. My son was born in and lived in TN for the first four months of his life. My ex engaged in numerous acts of domestic violence against me and in the presence of my son.

I left to the safety of my family's home in CA with my son when he was five months old. I filed a temporary restraining order based on domestic violence against my ex a few days after I arrived in CA. The TRO granted me sole legal and physical custody and gave my ex no visitation. The TRO hearing is scheduled for March.

When I served my ex with the TRO he filed a paternity action in TN. I faxed and postal mailed responses in TN. The TN court entered a parenting plan giving my ex primary custody. My baby is in TN b/c ct order.

How do I modify the TN parenting plan in CA?

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Attorney answers 1


You need to consult with a family law attorney in the county in Tennessee where that case is. I am confused as to where your child is located. First you indicate that you left to California with your son, and then you state that your baby is in Tennessee because of the court order. How long has he been living in TN?

The problem you have is that if he is in TN, that court has potential grounds to claim that TN is the home state for your child because that is where he resides, and he has more connections there than in CA. You were only in TN for a few days before filing the TRO (which was likely filed on an emergency basis and awarded based on the written paperwork, subject to the hearing on the merits that is set in March). I think you need an attorney out in TN to advise you, because I think that TN has a better argument for jurisdiction.

However, if you can prove the domestic violence there in TN, then the court should order custody to you at least temporarily and you can seek other orders including supervised visitation to your ex, keeping your address confidential, and possibly being able to live at least temporarily in CA.

If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Good Answer" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated. Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

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