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Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

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  • Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

    My husband is currently paying child support for his child who is living in a different state from him and where him and his ex got divorced. He would like possibly modify his support order to the state my husband lives in. What are the correct first steps and we can't afford a lawyer? Thank you

  • #2
    re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

    Originally posted by Kack View Post
    My husband is currently paying child support for his child who is living in a different state from him and where him and his ex got divorced. He would like possibly modify his support order to the state my husband lives in. What are the correct first steps and we can't afford a lawyer? Thank you
    Child support is based upon the child's needs and expenses -- where the child lives, not the obligors.

    If his income is reduced from what it was at the time the decree was entered, he can file for modification -- but must file in the state where the child lives.

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    • #3
      Re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

      Child support stays where it was originally filed, unless both parents move to a new jurisdiction.

      However, your husband does not have to file in the old state. He can file through his current state of residence to the original state. This way, he would not have to travel to the other state. He would report to the local court house and communicate electronically to the other court house.

      Example:
      If one lives in Ohio and the original order was through Pennsylvania, they can file at their courthouse in Ohio. That court would contact the original court in Pennsylvania and they would arrange the hearing so that the father would be able to just report to the courthouse in Ohio. The judge or magistrate would still be in Pennsylvania.

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      • #4
        Re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

        Thank you for your advice.

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        • #5
          Re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

          Does he need to go to the court clerk first?

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          • #6
            Re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

            Originally posted by Kack View Post
            Does he need to go to the court clerk first?
            Yes. The clerk can tell him which forms to fill out. The clerk cannot, however, tell him how to fill them out, how to word his argument, etc. Depending on your state, though, they may have someone who can help with that. Check with your local legal aid office to see if he qualifies. He may be able to get free representation.

            A modification is a fairly simple process. The judge or magistrate uses a formula to determine the amount based on income ability (not necessarily actual income. If someone quits a job or voluntarily takes a lower paying job, the amount may be based on the old income).

            Some states do have limits. In some cases, one may not be allowed to file for a modification before a certain time period (often 2-3 years) unless income has changed by a certain percentage (usually 10-15%) or other extenuating circumstances.

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            • #7
              Re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

              The court that made the original order retains jurisdiction-- until the child moves to another state and it is agreed that the current state is best to hear any matter, assume jurisdiction of the child and all matters related to it. The governing law is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act. The court decide between themselves which is the proper forum. If the child has been in the new state more than 6 months, a year or more, the case would be transferred to the new state. It is not fair to the child and too disruptive to be dragged back to another state for the father's convenience.

              The forum state is the state which has the most information about the child's past, present and future care. And where the child resides is where support is based -- upon the child's needs, not the father's desires in a state where costs or support schedules are less. That defies reason.

              The previous answer is gravely incorrect. Court clerks are forbidden to give legal advice or help people fill out forms.

              Modifications are based upon change of circumstances. I know of no state that has set a statutory time limit on bringing a petition for modification.

              I strongly suggest your husband talk to a family law attorney before spinning his wheels pestering court clerks and getting inaccurate information. The modification case would be transferred to the state where the child lives. The original forum state has no actual nor legal interest in the child's welfare. Dad obviously is thinking of his own convenience and not considering the child's needs at all.

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              • #8
                Re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

                "friend of court" thank you for the first part of your reply and we will just seek an attorney. As far as ur opinion in ur last sentence I didn't ask for that. You don't know anything about the facts and ur opinion is like an *******, everyone has one. Maybe your Dad was that way but this is not the case, thank you and "advice" is no longer needed. Have a smart day!

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                • #9
                  Re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

                  When the principal asks the question it has a lot more weight than when a boyfriend/girlfriend inquires.

                  One of the purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act is to keep children from being yanked from state to state, forum shopping for a state which laws benefit one parent or another.

                  So when one asks to hold a case in the parent's state -- for the parent's convenience -- when the child is in another state, and that state is the only one which has a legal or actual interest in the child's welfare, to ask mother and child to travel to the father's state so the father can entertain a modification in his state, for his convenience, what else does one expect a person to think.

                  It is too bad you do not like my answer, but behind it is the principles of the law. The very reason the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act was first enacted. And judges will decide, between the two states, which is the most appropriate forum -- in the child's interests -- not the parents.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

                    I'm a wife not a girlfriend, big difference. I ask advice on where to start with this process to move an order from one state to the next, meaning the original state where the order was granted or where the child lives now, it has nothing to do with convenience on my husbands part. So basically you didn't read anything I asked. Traveling and all that is irrelevant because I'm not asking that at all. I believe you went misunderstood that and that's fine, but now you can you give people who are trying to facts and not opinions a chance to reply? To be clear, I didn't like your opinion not your answer, attention to detail is key.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

                      Originally posted by Kack View Post
                      I'm a wife not a girlfriend, big difference. I ask advice on where to start with this process to move an order from one state to the next, meaning the original state where the order was granted or where the child lives now, it has nothing to do with convenience on my husbands part. So basically you didn't read anything I asked. Traveling and all that is irrelevant because I'm not asking that at all. I believe you went misunderstood that and that's fine, but now you can you give people who are trying to facts and not opinions a chance to reply? To be clear, I didn't like your opinion not your answer, attention to detail is key.
                      A certified copy of the original custody decree needs to be filed in the state where one has moved, superior court of the county in which the parent resides -- if the decree was not made in their state. As soon as it appears to the court the child is in another state other than where the decree was made, then the other state will be communicated with -- as a matter of law. And the courts will decide between themselves which is the proper forum. Odds are heavily in favor of where the child is located for the very reasons I gave in my previous replies.

                      Whether you are wife or girlfriend makes no difference for you are not a party to the case nor custody decree. It makes no difference to the law if you were not a party to the case.

                      See a family law attorney and one experienced in interstate cases is my best advice. All I can do is give what I know of law and procedure and how a petition to modify will be received.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Modification child support... What are the correct first steps?

                        Get use to the term "legal stranger" it is commonly used on most forums in regards to GF/BF or step parents of children. A "legal stranger" ha sno legal say s or power in issues involving a child. In fact many Attorneys wont even speak with this person

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