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Dealing with jurisdictional disputes in child support cases

Dealing with jurisdictional disputes in child support cases

Although a divorce might take place in Virginia, it is not uncommon for one or both parties to move from the state where their marriage ended. When children are involved, child support issues can become complicated, especially if either party deems it necessary to seek a modification while living in a different state. The individual who owes support is most likely to request such a modification due to a change in their financial situation, and if there is an interstate residential change, it may be confusing to determine how to proceed.

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act provides the needed clarification for such a situation, identifying which state would maintain jurisdiction over child support matters. The act, which has been adopted in all 50 states, indicates that a state in which a child support order already exists will continue to have jurisdiction as long as one of the parties still resides there. If more than one order exists, the order in the home state of the child takes precedence. If there has not been an order in the child’s home state, then the most recent order will control in the situation.

Legal challenges involving child support can be difficult to manage from another state, and a parent might seek an opportunity to have a matter handled in their state of residency to minimize travel needs. However, proper handling of support matters is important to ensure that a support-owing parent does not end up in arrears due to misunderstandings.

A parent might want to seek help from a lawyer in the child’s state if support payments have become unmanageable. This might allow for the issue to be discussed without the need for the individual to travel to another state for court activity. In some cases, an agreement might be reached without the need for either party to appear in court.