Child Support Modifications And Jurisdiction Between States

When the financial circumstances of California non-custodial parents have substantially changed, they may have difficulty making their court-ordered child support payments. In that case, they will often need to file a petition to modify child support in order to seek a reduction in the monthly amount.

In some cases, a parent has relocated to a new state since the child support order was issued. Their child and the other parent may also have done so. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act has been enacted in each of the 50 states to address such situations. Under the law, the state in which the obligor, obligee or the child reside will have exclusive jurisdiction.

In some cases, more than one state could claim jurisdiction, so the UIFSA addresses that potentiality as well. If a child continues to live in a state that ordered child support, that state will continue holding jurisdiction over the case. If the child has moved to a different state, then the last state from which a child support order issued will have jurisdiction to hear the case.

Sometimes it may be difficult to determine the correct venue in which to file a motion to modify child support. Parents may want to seek the help of a family law attorney to both identify the state with jurisdiction and to help with drafting and filing it. In the event an attorney determines that California does not have jurisdiction, they may help by referring the person to an attorney in the state that does. If they identify California as the state holding jurisdiction, they may help their clients by drafting a petition that is thoroughly supported with evidentiary documentation to show the court why such a change is needed.