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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11994
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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How can a petition modification in the amount of child

Customer Question

How can a petition for a modification in the amount of child support be filed when the non-custodial parent is in another state? Can I file the petition in Florida, where I live, if the non-custodial parent lives in New Jersey? What if I lived in Alabama? Could I file there if he lives in New Jersey?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 7 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to helping you.

When an order for child support is entered, the state in which the order is entered retains continuing exclusive jurisdiction over the order. Meaning, only that state may enforce the order or modify the order.

Florida statutes set forth the requirements in order for a Florida court to make an initial child custody determination. This is part of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which has been adopted by Florida and 48 other states. Under Florida law, a Florida court can make an initial child custody ruling if Florida is the “home state” of the child on the date the proceeding involving child custody issues was commenced. In addition, a court can rule if Florida was the “home state” of the child within six months before the proceedings were initiated and, despite the child being presently absent from Florida, at least a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in Florida.

Once a Florida court makes an initial child custody order, Florida courts have exclusive, continuing jurisdiction to modify those child custody orders. This is meant to prevent other states from entering conflicting child custody orders without first giving Florida the opportunity to modify its orders. Florida can continue to exercise exclusive, continuing jurisdiction so long as the child or at least one of the child’s parents continues to reside in Florida or so long as Florida continues to be a convenient forum to litigate future issues. To have exclusive, continuing jurisdiction means that other states will defer to Florida before granting orders that modify or change an initial custody order that Florida has entered.

In other words, if one parent continues to live in Florida, and that is where the order was entered, the petition needs to be filed in Florida.

If both parents move, then the state where the child now lives would become the state of exclusive jurisdiction and child support enforcement actions and modifications would have to take place in the new state.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 7 months ago.

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