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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37809
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have a serious question. My husband and I were separated

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I have a serious question. My husband and I were separated for six years but lived in different states. We had two children together who are special needs, which we made an agreement on a particular amount of child support, medical coverage, and that i would go to school on his VA benefits. He recently filed for a divorce in the state of Nevada and I live in California. Because of my children's issues, I became their care provider and started attending school. They receive SSDI from Social Security because of his SSDI claim. He is always retired military at 100% disability. He told me the state of Nevada has jurisdiction over the divorce and child support payments. If I live in California, can I file for child support in my state and will they include his SSDI payments like Nevada. He also told me that if I contested or ask for Alimony, then the would add on the debt in the divorce decree even though he knows I cannot. He does not care that the children are in daycare/YMCA daily and told me that I needed to rearrange his lifestyle. He only wants to pay $539/mo out of his household and is relying on SSDI to pay the rest. Can I file for support in California? Please help. There was also domestic violence in the household and my husband was bipolar. 


You ask a number of important questions:

If I live in California, can I file for child support in my state and will they include his SSDI payments like Nevada.

A: If you and your husband did not live together in NV as a family, then you can file for child support in California. There are a number of other requirements, including that you must challenge personal jurisdiction in NV. This boils down to responding to your husband's divorce pleading by sending a letter to the court and to your husband stating that neither you nor the children have ever resided with your husband in NV, and that you and the children have no contact with NV, except as an occasional visitor.

Otherwise, NV will take jurisdiction, and while you can file a request for child support in California, NV law will control the child support award.

The easiest means of filing is to apply for services with your county Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). Regardless of which state ultimately controls the award of support, DCSS can handle that portion of the claim for you.

Concerning SSDI, either state will calculate child support based in part upon the amount of SSDI received.

The remainder of your husband's threats are "hollow," however, if you have been served a petition for dissolution by your husband for the NV court, then you may want to contact a legal aid service and see if you can get a free or low cost attorney to assist you in challenging personal jurisdiction in NV -- before you accidentally respond to the petition incorrectly, and you are stuck with an NV divorce. Click here.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. We did live together in NV but only for a few years. We have been separated for 6 years. If Nevada takes jurisdiction, can I get the child support case transferred to California? There was tons of domestic violence and he has only seen them 2 times in 6 years.

The fact that there was domestic violence is irrelevant for the purposes of determining child support. If you left NV for CA with the children, then your husband is subject to NV child support law, so there is no point in challenging jurisdiction. However, if you file a DCSS application now, then the agency may be able to deal with that portion of the case without your having to travel to NV. If not, then you will have to appear in a NV court, either by yourself, or by attorney.

Which is why you really need to figure out if you can find a lawyer to represent you in NV, Once you get someone into court there, they can ask the court to order your husband to pay your attorney's fees, so that you can have paid representation.

However, if neither of you have much earnings, then the court won't order your attorney's fees paid, and you will have to just get in your car and start driving if there's a hearing, and you cannot find a legal aid attorney to represent your interests.

I realize this may be a great imposition on you, but I cannot change the law. Unfortunately, all of this should have been handled years ago, and I understand that there may have been domestic violence which forced you to leave. It's still possible that the NV court would dismiss the divorce in NV as an "inconvenient forum," due to you and the children residing in California -- so that you could file in CA. But, to get any of that done, you need an NV lawyer to appear in court on your behalf.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I appreciate your help. He receives about $5400/mo and I get a little less than half of that. I will see if I can get a legal aid attorney to help me in Nevada. Thank you for your help.

You're welcome and good luck!

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