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Jurisdiction and child support modifications

When a parent's financial circumstances have changed since a child support order was issued in their divorce case, where to file the request for modification can be a real question when they have relocated to Ohio from the state that issued the original order. There is a law that governs the jurisdictional question over where the appropriate court is to file such a motion.

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act explains how to determine in which state to file a modification request. The law has been codified in all 50 states. Under the act, the state in which the case was originally filed will continue to have jurisdiction over the matter if it is the home of the person who was ordered to pay support, the child or the person was ordered to receive it.

In some cases, the person who owes the child support, the person who receives it and the child may all live in different states. When that occurs, the UIFSA indicates that the state in which the child resides will in most cases have exclusive jurisdiction over requests to modify child support.

When people have significant changes in their financial circumstances that necessitate child support modifications, understanding the appropriate court in which to file the case is important. People who want to request a modification of their child support may want to seek the advice of a family law attorney. legal counsel may be able to review the circumstances to determine if Ohio has exclusive jurisdiction over the matter or not. If the state does, the attorney may then help the client by drafting and filing the request for modification and having it served on the other parent. The attorney may then advocate on the client's behalf at the hearing.

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