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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37029
Experience:  Attorney with 16 years experience
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I live in Colorado. My ex-girlfriend moved out of the state

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I live in Colorado. My ex-girlfriend moved out of the state to Tennessee with my two children about one year ago. There is no court order for custody, and I do pay child support regularly. I had to hire a private investigator to find my children. Can I petition the court for visitation? She never informed myself or the court of her intention to move, and has made an effort to make sure I could not find her...what can I do so my kids do not spend their whole lives not knowing me?
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Can I petition the court for visitation? She never informed myself or the court of her intention to move, and has made an effort to make sure I could not find her...what can I do so my kids do not spend their whole lives not knowing me?
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Yes, if there has never been any formal paternity case filed, you would have to file one in TN in order to have a judge order a DNA test to formally declare you the biological father. Once that is done, you would have legal rights to custody or visitation for the children. Along with that would come a formal order to pay child support since you are not the primary custodial parent.
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When you file, I would highly suggest that you have representation by an experienced family law attorney. They can help ensure that you get visitation rights and aren't ordered to pay an unreaonable amount of child support.
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Barrister
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Paternity was determined in Co prior to her leaving and both kids were born in colorado...i do pay support in the amount of 648/month..

Ok, I thought you said that there was no custody order and that you voluntarily pay support, not that it was court ordered....
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With that being the case, then CO would still have jurisdiction over the case for any type of modification until the case is formally transferred to another jurisdiction. When a paternity case is filed in one state, that state retains "continuing and exclusive jurisdiction" over the case forever unless it is transferred to another state.
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So if you wanted to file in CO, you could do so and have her served in TN with the summons. In the alternative, you could file in TN and request that the TN courts accept jurisdiction and the CO courts transfer it. Personally, I would rather keep jurisdiction in my home state and not have to travel to TN.
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Sorry for any confusion on my part...
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Thanks
Barrister

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