How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask AttyHeather Your Own Question
AttyHeather, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 677
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
AttyHeather is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My divorce decree and child support order was filed in the

Customer Question

My divorce decree and child support order was filed in the state of VA. My ex-wife has moved to Connecticut, and I am currently living in the state of Massachusetts due to military orders. It has come to my attention that it may be time to modify the child support and custody order. Which state guidelines for child support take precedence if there has been a motion for foreign judgement by the state of Connecticut, and which state do I modify custody through, Virginia or Connecticut?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Heather, an attorney with 15 years experience and I'd like to assist you with your question for informational purposes.

You said that there was a motion for foreign judgment in Connecticut, but you did not state if that was turned into an Order. If the Connecticut has issued an order that it is taking over jurisdiction of the case, then you would file in Connecticut, and you would no longer file in VA. However, if there has been no such order, then VA would have continuing jurisdiction over your case and you would file there in VA. Until you see an order (not just a motion) being signed by a court stating that the jurisdiction is changed to another state, the original state's court retains jurisdiction over your divorce case.

Best of luck and thank you for your service to our country.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the confusion. There is an order for judgement by foreign court in the state of Connecticut. I am still confused about which states guidelines would be used upon a request to modify child support. Furthermore, which states laws apply in modifying custody in the future.
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

What does the "Order for Judgment by Foreign Court" from Connecticut state?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The Certificate of Filing for Foreign Judgement that I have requested the foreign Judgement be filed IAW Connecticut General Statutes 46b-71 which states:Sec. 46b-71. Filing of foreign matrimonial judgment; enforcement in this state. (a) Any party to an action in which a foreign matrimonial judgment has been rendered, shall file, with a certified copy of the foreign matrimonial judgment, in the court in this state in which enforcement of such judgment is sought, a certification that such judgment is final, has not been modified, altered, amended, set aside or vacated and that the enforcement of such judgment has not been stayed or suspended, and such certificate shall set forth the full name and last-known address of the other party to such judgment and the name and address of the court in the foreign state which rendered such judgment.(b) Such foreign matrimonial judgment shall become a judgment of the court of this state where it is filed and shall be enforced and otherwise treated in the same manner as a judgment of a court in this state; provided such foreign matrimonial judgment does not contravene the public policy of the state of Connecticut. A foreign matrimonial judgment so filed shall have the same effect and may be enforced or satisfied in the same manner as any like judgment of a court of this state and is subject to the same procedures for modifying, altering, amending, vacating, setting aside, staying or suspending said judgment as a judgment of a court of this state; provided, in modifying, altering, amending, setting aside, vacating, staying or suspending any such foreign matrimonial judgment in this state the substantive law of the foreign jurisdiction shall be controlling.
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

So, am I correct in understanding that YOU (not the ex) asked Connecticut to take over jurisdiction? And that you filed the motion regarding the foreign judgment? And that the Connecticut court has issued an order regarding the foreign judgment (but I still do not know if the Connecticut court said, 'yes, we will take jurisdiction,' or 'no, we won't take jurisdiction'.

If the Connecticut court issues an ORDER that states Connecticut accepts jurisdiction (which it probably will since you were the filing party and it's the state where your ex resides) then you would file in Connecticut. If there has been no such order, then the original state retains the case.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My ex-wife filed the foreign judgement in the state of Connecticut. A judge in the State of Connecticut signed that foreign judgement. The above law is referenced in the certificate of filing of foreign judgement. The word "jurisdiction" does not appear in either the filing paperwork or the law as written above.What I have been told is that this motion only allows Connecticut to enforce the original divorce decree. Now it is time to modify that decree based on changes since the decree was signed. My question is which states' laws are to be used in any modifications? Furthermore which state do I go through to modify the decree?
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

From what you have just clarified, it sounds like Connecticut has asserted jurisdiction, which means that you need to file your petition to modify the decree in Connecticut.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But which child support guidelines worksheet would be used? Connecticut or Virginia?
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

According to the laws you cited, the procedural laws would be used for Conn, but the substantative laws of of Va will be used.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 year ago.

Would you please provide a positive rating for me so that I can be credited for the answer and my time assisting you?