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CALawyer
CALawyer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  California Family Law Attorney
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I have a child support order in NJ where I live with the ...

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I have a child support order in NJ where I live with the child, can the father (non custodial parent) file in GA to have it modified? That is where he lives? The child has never resided there, and neither have I?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
No. The UCCJEA assigns continuing and exclusive jurisdiction for custody arrangements to the state where the original order is made so long as either party or the child still resides in that state. As such, Georgia Courts would lack jurisdiction unless you moved out of the state.




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CALawyer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1655
Experience: California Family Law Attorney
CALawyer and 7 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I guess I was not clear enough. The original order was in North Carolina. I applied and had it transfered to New Jersey once me, my daughter and her father all moved out of North Carolina. Now I would like to have it modified again, however, I am under the understanding that he is going to file in Georgia first, because that is where he resides. Can he do that, even though me, nor our child has ever resided in that state? Thank you.
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
What do you mean when you say you "transferred" it to New Jersey?

Were there court order in New Jersey, or a domesticated order?

How long have you been in New Jersey?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I filed a motion thru an attoney and had the jurisdiction transfered to NJ. This way NC no longer had the jurisdiction. THere was no order in NJ until this was transfered. Basicley I had to register it in NJ. I have been in NJ for almost 3 years now. But it has only been transfered here for the last 2 months.
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
Here are the relevant code sections from the Georgia Code. Sorry for the delay, I wanted to provide sources so you feel assured.

19-9-61. Jurisdiction requirements for initial child custody determinations; physical presence alone insufficient


(a) Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 19-9-64, a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination only if:

(1) This state is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this state;

(2) A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under paragraph (1) of this subsection, or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this state is the more appropriate forum under Code Section 19-9-67 or 19-9-68 and:

(A) The child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this state other than mere physical presence; and

(B) Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships;


(3) All courts having jurisdiction under paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this state is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under Code Section 19-9-67 or 19-9-68; or

(4) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection.

(b) Subsection (a) of this Code section is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child custody determination by a court of this state.

(c) Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child custody determination.



19-9-63. Prerequisites for modifying custody determination from foreign court


Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 19-9-64, a court of this state may not modify a child custody determination made by a court of another state unless a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 19-9-61 and:

(1) The court of the other state determines it no longer has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under Code Section 19-9-62 or that a court of this state would be a more convenient forum under Code Section 19-9-67; or

(2) A court of this state or a court of the other state determines that neither the child nor the child's parents or any person acting as a parent presently resides in the other state.

Basically, the second code section says that the Georgia Courts cannot make a custody determination unless they could make an initial determination under part (a) of the first code section. Part (a) of the first code section requires that the child either live in Georgia for 6 months, or that the New Jersey Courts decline to excercise jurisdiction. Neither of these seem to be present with the facts you've described.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
That was helpful.. But this isnt custody, this is child support.. so would that be considered the same thing? Sorry I just need to be sure?
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
I'm sorry. I completely misread the question (I feel like an idiot, I am usually very careful). This is a more complicated question, I am working on an answer and will be back to you in a few minutes.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
Ok. Basically, the father would need to file in New Jersey to modify the support order unless you submitted to the jurisdiction of the Georgia courts.

If you filed to modify the support order, however, you might need to file in Georgia. The reason I say might is because it is unclear from the facts you've provided whether or not, when you registered the North Carolina order in New Jersey, whether the father submitted to jurisdiction there.

In UIFSA (Uniform Interestate Family Support Act) cases, there is effectively three jurisdictional items that need to be achieved to modify a support order when no one resides in the original state.

First, no one can reside in the original state.

Second, the order must be registered in the state where it is going to be modified. (For you, it would need to be registered in GA so it could be enforced against the father there unless the father already submitted to the jurisdiction of the NJ courts... For the father, it would need to be registered in NJ to be enforced against you...).

Third, the courts must have personal jurisdiction over both parties. This typically means that the party attempting to modify the order submits to jurisdiction by filing for modification out of state and that the party responding to the modification lives in the state. There are other grounds for jurisdiction, however, which are listed in the below referenced Georgia statute:

19-11-110. Jurisdiction


In a proceeding to establish, enforce, or modify a support order or to determine parentage, a tribunal of this state may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident individual or the individual's guardian or conservator if:

(1) The individual is personally served with process within Georgia;

(2) The individual submits to the jurisdiction of Georgia by consent, by entering a general appearance, or by filing a responsive document having the effect of waiving any contest to personal jurisdiction;

(3) The individual resided with the child in Georgia;

(4) The individual resided in Georgia and provided prenatal expenses or support for the child;

(5) The child resides in Georgia as a result of the acts or directives of the individual;

(6) The individual engaged in sexual intercourse in Georgia and the child may have been conceived by that act of intercourse;

(7) The individual asserted parentage in the putative father registry maintained in this state by the Department of Human Resources; or

(8) There is any other basis consistent with the Constitutions of Georgia and the United States for the exercise of personal jurisdiction.

Again, I'm sorry about misreading your question before and I wish you the best of luck in your situation.





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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, he did agree to NJ having jurisdiction. We both agreed that NJ should have jurisdiction.

So if I am reading this correctly, then IF I do not want it to go thru the GA courts and I want it to stay in NJ then it can stay in NJ? Is that correct? So I can file in NJ and that is fine? Or he would have to file in NJ as well correct?
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
Based on the facts you've provided, yes, yes, and yes.

He couldn't file in GA unless you made a general appearance in GA or somehow submitted to GA jurisdiction. If he did file in GA, you should probably hire an attorney to get the case dismissed (because filing an answer could be seen as submitting to jurisdiction).




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