Serving Clients in Knox, Blount, Anderson, Loudon, Sevier & Roane Counties

Foreign Judgements in Divorce Cases

So, you got a divorce in Texas, Washington, China, or Italy, but since then you (or your ex) have moved to Tennessee. Now, your ex is behaving badly or you need to change something- what do you do?

Step One – What court?

First, you need to figure out what court has the power to act. You can always file in the court that divorced you, but if it’s across the country (or the ocean) that isn’t helpful.

If you and your ex both live in Tennessee and have lived here for six months or more, you can file in a Tennessee court. If your ex lives in Tennessee but you don’t, you can file in a Tennessee court in the county where your ex lives. If you live in Tennessee but your ex lives somewhere else, it’s more complicated and depends on what sort of case you have.

Step Two – What to file?

Once you determine where you need to file, you need to know what to file. Usually this is called a “Petition to Enroll a Foreign Judgment.” This lets the court know that you have a judgment form out of state that will need to be enforced here in Tennessee. Once the judgment is enrolled in Tennessee, you can ask the court to hold your spouse in contempt, to modify the parenting plan, or change your alimony.

The process can vary depending on what country the divorce came from, what action you want to take, and where everyone lives now. An experienced Tennessee family law attorney can help guide you through each step of the process.