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we were told the case must be domesticated to TN as that is where the kids live
That's not quite true. He can file the modification where the old case was heard but if the sife objects then it would have to be dismissed and then he would file where the children live. A case can't be transferred between states so what he would have to do is get a certified copy of the file and then file it as an attachment to his petition int he state where the children live.
Does he have any recourse to ask for lawyer and travel fees?
He can ask, a lot of people do, but I have never seen a judge award travel costs. He can ask for attorney's fees and they are often awarded.
Can this be a lengthy process and a expensive one?
Yes. I can be short and to the point or it can be dragged out into a lengthy and expensive case.
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