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Child support modifications and jurisdictional issues

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2015 | Firm News

In some Texas child support matters, the noncustodial parent who has been ordered to pay support experiences a significant adverse change in financial circumstances long after the order has been issued. In those cases, the obligor may want to file a petition to modify the monthly child support amount to reflect the current circumstances.

When a child or parent has relocated to a new state after a child support order is already in place, the obligor may then wonder in which state the petition should be filed. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, which has been adopted by every state, governs that jurisdictional question. Under the law, the state in which the obligor, the recipient or the child reside will have exclusive jurisdiction over a filed child support modification motion.

In cases in which several states would have jurisdiction, the UIFSA guides courts to consider both the child’s residence as well as the state in which the order originated. If the child still lives in the state, the court will continue to have jurisdiction over the matter. If the child has relocated to a different state, the last state to issue a child support order will have exclusive jurisdiction.

People who need to petition the court for a child support modification may want to seek the help of a family law attorney attorney. Legal counsel may be able to determine whether Texas will have jurisdiction to modify the support or if the person should instead be referred to an attorney in another state. The attorney may help clients file petitions to modify if Texas has jurisdiction over the case. Through such a petition, the person may be able to seek and obtain a reduction in the monthly child support payment amounts.