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Mother and child live in NJ, I live in VA, I'd like to settle the child custody and child support case in VA.

Atlantic City, NJ |

No marriage involved. Mother and child moved in living with me in VA after the child was born. She moved out to NJ after two years. In the two years I took care of both mother and child, and she was a full-time stay home mom. They have been living in NJ for about 2 years now, and she just filed a motion for full custody and child support. I need some help to challenge jurisdiction and settle the case in VA.

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Attorney answers 5


I am sorry that you are going through this, but given the facts you have presented your jurisdiciton is in New Jersey, however, I strongly suggest that you chat with a local attorney and go over all the specifics with him or her, perhaps your local rules may have an exception. take care.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.



I consulted a VA lawyer and he advised me to get a NJ lawyer to at least challenge the child support jurisdiction. Thoughts? Thank you!


As stated by Atty Lewis, it sounds like jurisdiction has passed to NJ. Generally jurisdiction lies where the child has resided for the previous 6 months.

REMEMBER, my answer to your question is for general informational purposes, as I don't know all the facts and circumstances relating to the specific person(s) and situations involved. You should always consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decision. This response does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship. For specific information regarding your case, call my office at 703-499-5843 to schedule a consultation.


Because you did not oppose the move initially, it appears jurisdiction is now in NJ. Have you had parenting time with the child? You will need a NJ attorney to represent you.

Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.


the jurisdictional basis for custody and visitation is different then the jurisdictional basis for child support. due to the passage of time, jurisdiction for custody and visitation will be in the child's home state of NJ. However, if you do not have sufficient minimum contacts with NJ [other then appearing there to litigate the issues of custody and visitation] then NJ will have no jurisdiction over you for the purpose of issuing an order for child support and any orders for child support would need to be established against you in your home state of VA. You should retain an experienced attorney in NJ to address the issues of custody and visitation and to move to dismiss the application for support on the basis that NJ lacks any jurisdiction over that issue.

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Thank you for your advice. I took your advice and asked a NJ lawyer to address the custody issue and move to dismiss the support application, but she told me that NJ has jurisdiction on both child custody and child support applications. Could you provide some references for me to help this lawyer to challenge the jurisdiction for me? I would hire you if you're a NJ lawyer. Thank you!


There are already other good answers to this question, and Mr. Drabin covers the important difference between jurisdiction over the child, (which allows New Jersey to grant custody orders), and jurisdiction over YOU, which is required for child support.

Some of the answers kind of pulled their punches on the state issue, saying that jurisdiction is "generally" somewhere. In fact, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act states that the child's home state, under these circumstances, is New Jersey. The only way that the case could be heard in Virginia would be if New Jersey gave up its jurisdiction to Virginia, as part of an order of "forum non convenens," which is Latin for inconvenient forum. That won't happen here, because the inconvenient forum elements aren't at play.

Best wishes.

This advice is based upon limited and hypothetical circumstances. For an answer that is specific to your situation, please consult an attorney. The answering of this question does not create an attorney/client relationship, and the poster should seek additional information from qualified legal counsel. Many attorneys, like ours, offer no-cost consultations.

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