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Changing venue for child support? Can I file in my new state or do I have to do it Ca or ask CA for change in venue?

San Francisco, CA |

The judge made an order of dissolution in a hearing in Feb in Ca and when I filed I was in CA. We have a minute order dissolving our marriage & it talks about child custody/visitation and the fact that I waived child support and spousal support. I moved out of state about 6 months after filing for divorce and he agreed to let me take our son with me. It has been over a year now
He never filed paperwork for a final order after the Feb hearing. I have finished it and I am about to file, but after this is done, I want to change venue to my new state where my son has lived for 1 yr & request child support since I thought he would have a job by now when I temporarily waived it until he found employment. Can I file in my new state after I get an order in CA? Do I have to ask CA first?

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Attorney answers 2


Your question presents some tricky legal points regarding jurisdiction of the Court. You should have an attorney review the California orders to determine if California retained jurisdiction on custody. Under California law, you can always seek orders modifying custody and support so that your "waiver" is not forever. California courts often retain jurisdiction to determine future custody issues in a child relocation case. For these reasons, you need to consult a California review the actual orders entered by the Court.

The above is general information only. It should not be considered as legal advice applicable to your specific circumstance. Reliable legal advice applicable to your situation cannot be given without a consultation. The above response does not create an attorney client relationship nor should it be considered as a privileged attorney client communication.


There is a set of laws called the "Uniform Interstate Family Support Act" that has been adopted by all 50 states in one form or another. What that Act can be summarized to mean that as long as one of the parents remains in the "Initiating State" (California for your case) then that state has "continuing exclusive jurisdiction" to make decisions about child support. Since your Ex still lives in California any changes to child support would be heard here in California. While you CAN waive your right to receive spousal support forever, you CAN NOT waive your right to receive child support. If there has been a change of financial circumstances then you should seek assistance in filing a Request for Order to modify child support in the original (California) court. You should consider contacting your new State's Department of Child Support Services to start interstate assistance and enforcement of your child support.

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