Changing Jurisdiction in Hamilton County Child Custody Cases 

Jurisdiction designates what state a court case will be held in and is an important component of many child custody cases. A custody case will typically be litigated in the child’s home state, which is where they have lived in for at least six months. Once a custody order is issued, that case will remain under the original jurisdiction unless a parent petitions to have the jurisdiction changed later on.

It can be difficult to successfully change the jurisdiction of your Hamilton County child custody case, but this process is necessary to go through before you are able to relocate with your child. If you want to make this change to your custody contract, reach out to a legal professional who could help you meet all the requirements along the way.

What are the Common Reasons to Change Jurisdiction?

The most common reason to change jurisdiction in a child custody case is relocation. For example, if a child lived in Hamilton County at the time of the original child custody court order but then the custodial parent moves them to another state and has been in the other state for at least six months, it would make sense to transfer the case to that new state. However, in order for a parent to relocate their child and make a jurisdictional change, they must first seek approval from the other parent and the court.


There are some restrictions for changing jurisdiction in child custody that a parent who wishes to relocate must understand. If a parent moves with their child, an argument could be made against a jurisdictional change if the other parent remains in the previous state. The parent remaining in the original state could argue that since they are still playing a parental role, the case should be kept in Hamilton County. Disputed cases like these can go both ways in court and the outcome will depend on the family’s specific circumstances.

What is the Process of Changing Jurisdiction?

To go about changing jurisdiction in a Hamilton County custody case, the parent requesting the change must file a motion to transfer the case to their new state. For example, if a mother who moved to Georgia wants to move the case from Tennessee to Georgia, they have two main options.

First, the parent could file a petition with the Tennessee court to transfer the case to Georgia, and the Tennessee court would then make a decision about whether or not to transfer that case. Another route would be to file a petition to enroll a foreign decree in Georgia court instead.

A change in jurisdiction often requires additional modifications to a child custody agreement. If a parent is moving a distance away that makes their previous parenting schedule a practical impossibility, some type of change needs to be made. If two parents usually split parenting time during the week and the new distance between them makes that too difficult, they will likely have to renegotiate their contract to come up with a more feasible schedule.

Consult a Hamilton County Attorney If You Want to Change Jurisdictions in Your Child Custody Case

If you are planning on relocating with your child and want to change the jurisdiction of your Hamilton County child custody case, you should enlist legal counsel as soon as possible. The right attorney could offer key insight into your situation and help you achieve the desired outcome in your case. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.

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