Ex-Spouse in Another State

My ex-spouse lives in another state now. What laws apply to cases like ours?

Issues regarding children are treated under 2 areas of law, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement act (UCCJEA) and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).

The UCCJEA deals with custody and visitation issues. It requires an original action to be started in the home state of the children. The home state is typically where the child has lived for 6 months or, if the child is not 6 months old, then where the child has lived primarily since birth. Suits to modify prior orders are brought in the same state and the same court from which the original order came, unless (1) there is a new home state of the children (they have been living in a new state for 6 months or more) and there no longer exists sufficient evidence in the original state to make a lawsuit there practical.

Child support is treated in a different area, under UIFSA. Under that law, so long as a parent is still residing in the original state where the first order was done, any modification of the support portion of that order will remain in that state. If both parents move from the original state, then the parent who wants to modify the child support must go to the state of the other parent and file the action. Once the action is filed and an order is entered, it will stay in that state until a parent no longer resides there.