Child Support Jurisdiction When Both Parties Have Left The State

by Shelly from Kansas


Child support was ordered in Florida and both parties have left the state.


A child support order was issued in Florida years ago and now the father and mother no longer live in Florida.

Is the child support order still binding?



Answer to Florida Child Support Question

Dear Shelly,

Yes, the child support order is still binding under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), but the modification and enforcement of that order could change when the parents no longer live in the original state.

In general the state with continuing exclusive jurisdiction has the authority to modify a child support order.

So if you are now in Kansas, and have lived there with the child for at least six months, and now need to modify your Florida child support order, you would have to request Kansas to accept jurisdiction.

If, however, the child's father continued to live in Florida, Florida would retain jurisdiction. I believe, for enforcement purposes you would also have to transfer your child support case to Kansas.

Check with the entity in Kansas whose duty it is to collect child support to find out procedures for transferring child support to Kansas. The following excerpt is from Attorney Marsha Baucom's website. Marsha Baucom holds degrees in Psychology, and Family Law and has been practicing as a Licensed California Family Law Attorney representing thousands of clients for over a decade.

UIFSA also answers the question of which state among two has the power to modify an order for child support when the parents live in two different states.

California makes a child support order in 1996. Mom is the custodial parent (the obligee under UIFSA terminology) and Dad is the payer (obligor in UIFSA language). Mom and child move to Florida in 1997. Dad moves to New Jersey in 1998.

California, under UIFSA, looses any jurisdiction to modify its own order when the second parent moved out of state, unless all of the parent consented in writing to California having modification jurisdiction.

California does retain enforcement jurisdiction, which means that a California Wage assignment for the old amount of child support, and any arrears there on, is valid.

If however, Dad stayed in California, then California retains both modification jurisdiction for so long as Dad is a resident and enforcement jurisdiction, since it never lost it.

If Dad was person who moved, but Mom (and child) stayed behind in CA, California would still have not only enforcement jurisdiction but modification jurisdiction since Mom (and child) remained. Because Father was originally a resident of California at the time of the initial order, or consented to "personal jurisdiction" California retains the ability to modify this order provided that at least one parent is still here.

There is no "procedural due process" claim because by agreeing to California having "initial" personal jurisdiction over them, the parties also consented to continuing exclusive jurisdiction until all have moved out of the jurisdiction.


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