How does location affect child support?

Texas parents know that after a divorce life can change drastically. One of the big changes that can occur is a move to another state by one or both of the parents or even the minor children of the former marriage. When this occurs, a question that might arise is which state has jurisdiction over any child support issues.

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act addresses this question and has been codified by all states. The act, which provides guidance to states as to which one has jurisdiction over child support modifications in situations such as this, declares that the state with jurisdiction over such matters is the the one in which the payer, the recipient or the child involved in the case make their home after the divorce.

Under this rule, it is possible that up to three states could have jurisdiction over child support matters in the case. In cases of ambiguity when, for example, one of the parents is seeking a modification to an existing child support order, the act focuses on the current home state of the child. If the child support order was issued in that state, then that state will continue to have jurisdiction over the modification request. If the child is living in another state, however, then the state that has most recently issued an order will have jurisdiction.

While some noncustodial parents simply refuse to honor their child support obligations, many become unable to do so because of a job loss or other unexpected financial downturn. A parent in this position may want to speak with a family law attorney in order to determine how to get the order modified to a more reasonable amount.