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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10484
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My wife is chasing me child support. I am 73 years old and

Customer Question

my wife is chasing me for back child support. I am 73 years old and she obtained this judgement for 20k per month
when I was unemployed, living in Ma, and not present for the hearing. She agreed to accept 300.00 per month. Now that my son stopped giving her money she is chasing me using Ma. I have live in Florida for the past 9 years and she has live in Florida for the past 10. Does Ma. have any jurisdiction.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, a federal act that governs both child and spousal support, the issuing court's order remains in effect until modified, and can be enforced by that state, or another state's, support collection services.

That act is here:

Most courts will not agree to a modification of support, even if there is a verbal agreement modifying the amount, because the court tends to be reluctant to modify court orders prior to the date of the filing for the request for modification (this is unfortunate because most people assume an agreement between the parties is sufficient in and of itself).

It is also possible to negotiate the arrears; the agency that is garnishing the support would have information on this, as each department has a different program available, with different requirements.

I'm sure this is not what you wanted to hear; but I have a duty to report accurate information. Since the law is always evolving, one may wish to hire an attorney to present the case to the judge to show the inequity of having a verbal agreement and then attempting to "reinstate" a court order; but again, most judges will not entertain that argument.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

a case specific to FL: Sootin v. Sootin 41 So. 3d 993 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2010)-

Finding: Under UIFSA, the Florida (issuing) court has 'continuing exclusive jurisdiction over a spousal support order throughout the existence of the support obligation.'

So the issuing court has continuing and exclusive jurisdiction even if both parties relocated out of state (as they did in the above referenced case)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't feel you read my question correctly We both live in Fl now where the order was issued for the past nine years I don't feel that Ma has any juristiction
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

The Act is a federal act and applies to all states; the FL case that I cited discussed a couple that had a support order in a different state and both parties later moved to FL. FL declined jurisdiction based on the act, stating that the state that initial jurisdiction continues to have exclusive and continuous jurisdiction pursuant to the act, and directed the parties to litigate any issues in the state that issued the order -even though both parties were residents of FL.

It does not make much sense, and the law is different for child support, but for some reason the legislature did not make allowance for the transfer of spousal support cases. A state may enforce another state's order, but may not modify/terminate it. The initiating state may pursue collections based on the original order.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In this case the initiating state is Fl and they are not pursuing me Again I believe Ma has no juristiction
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

If the initiating state is FL, then FL has the continuing exclusive jurisdiction. From reading the question, it appeared that the order initiated in MA. So if it in fact initiated in FL, then you are correct that MA would not be involved with that issue.