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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 38889
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My husband & his ex-wife got a divorce in 2006 in Germany.

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My husband & his ex-wife got a divorce in 2006 in Germany. They are both American citizens. The divorce was granted but no child support was determined. The ex-wife would have had to file paperwork in the German Family Court for a child support amount. She did not do this. My husband wanted to take care of his child. He has paid $1000 for a few months following the divorce, and has continued to pay $800 per month since then. He has just stopped the allotment since she turned 18 in Jan 2010 & graduated from high school in May 2010. Is there any legal issues? We live in Texas & the child lives in Mississippi with her mother. The child is not going to any other schools. We were wondering if he still has to continue to pay any kind of amount? I appreciate any information on this issue.

If there was no German child support order made, and more important, none requested by either party, then the jurisdiction in which the obligor/paying parent resides when the first child support order is made would control the duration of child support -- unless the paying parent submits to the jurisdiction where the other parent and child reside.

 

If your husband is sued for child support in Mississippi, he must be VERY careful to not inadvertantly submit to Mississippi jurisdiction, or he can be held to a child support obligation until the child is 21 years of age, under MIssissippi law.

 

Avoiding personal jurisdiction is tricky, so if he's sued, he needs to hire a Mississippi lawyer to "challenge personal jurisdiction." For a family law attorney referral, see: http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/lris/directory/main.cfm?id=MS and www.martindale.com.

 

Hope this helps.

 

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Should he file the divorce paperwork from Germany in the state of Texas? Would this establish jurisdiction so we do not have to continue to pay child support?

That will do nothing. The issue is whether or not the German judgment addressed child support at all. If it did, then the law of Germany will control when child support ends. Otherwise, the only thing you need the German judgment for is to prove that the judgment did not make any child support orders.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

One more question: This is quoted from his divorce decree. "The parties have not filed any motions regarding the custody of the minor child. The parents declared that they are in agreement as to the continuance of parental custody and child visitation." I tried to talk to an attorney today (Texas) and she secretary/law clerk stated that we are not able to file in Texas since the child is in Mississippi. Is this correct?

So do you think the best advice is to file here in Texas before she is able to file in Mississippi? We are leaning towards this way. I sure do appreciate all the help & information.

I tried to talk to an attorney today (Texas) and she secretary/law clerk stated that we are not able to file in Texas since the child is in Mississippi. Is this correct?

 

A: There is nothing to file. It's up to the other parent to try to get your husband to pay. If she wants to do that, she will have to do it in MS, because in TX, her time has run out, as the child is too old to receive support. This puts you back where I already explained: if you are sued in MS, then you need to hire a lawyer to challenge personal jurisdiction. If the court agrees, then the case will be dismissed, and that will be the end of the matter forever.

 

DO NOT TRY TO ANSWER A CHILD SUPPORT COMPLAINT ISSUED FROM A MISSISSIPPI COURT YOURSELF. If you do, and you screw up your challenge, your husband will be stuck with a support award until the child is 21.


So do you think the best advice is to file here in Texas before she is able to file in Mississippi?

 

A: There is nothing to do -- it's up to the other parent to start a case against your husband. If that doesn't happen, then your husband can just go about his life.

 

Best of luck.

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