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Apr 21, 2024, 01:47:41 PM

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Issues with Interstate Support

Started by distressedMOM, Mar 02, 2016, 03:46:22 PM

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I had custody of the minor child in this case, initially, and the father paid $101/month in child support while he was the non-custodial parent. Through a clause in our modified divorce decree, which I signed under physical threat by my ex-husband, custody was changed to him. I was unemployed and did not have the money for an attorney, so the financial burden for child support and visitation were placed disproportionately on me. The custodial parent paid NO transportation for the next 4 years and my support, although I made significantly less than my ex, was 2x the amount when he paid.
When I did get a high paying job, he immediately took me to court to get additional monies, which they granted, so my obligation was now over $650. The support came directly out of my paycheck and things were great until my employer was acquired by another company and my job was eliminated. I now had no income. To boot, I was in a car accident and had a couple of surgeries, so I did not return to work immediately, but my support arrearage began.

I went to CA, where we were living due to my husband, who was in the military's job took him, to ask them to modify, but they said they couldn't because Oklahoma had jurisdiction. So I contacted Oklahoma, but since neither of the parents now lived in the state, they said they didn't have jurisdiction. I contacted Michigan, the home state of the minor child and they said they didn't have jurisdiction. I asked the custodial parent to file in his home state, but, of course, he refused. I even had a modification drawn up that we could present to the court with minimum wage as my salary until I could get back on my feet, but the custodial parent refused to help. Unfortunately, due to other circumstances, we made our way back to live in Oklahoma and I presented my case, with all the supporting documentation showing my salary, my W-2, the emails between the custodial parent and myself, the certified mail receipts from requests to each state and their official letters letting me know they didn't have jurisdiction, including Oklahoma, who says now that they did have jurisdiction the entire time, but they won't do a retroactive modification. If they did, the amount that I owe would already be 0 (I would have grossly overpaid) and there wouldn't be any Interest to pay.

I was not a bad mother and did not lose custody, we changed custody due to a strong-arming tactic of my ex-husband, but when I ask for requests for modification and when I attend hearings, I can feel the disdain and contempt for me by the case workers. I have requested that my case be reviewed by higher-ups, but I'm told that because I signed a document after one of the hearings, which I protested, but they told me that I would not be able to leave if I didn't sign and they would take my driver's license if I didn't sign, they cannot do anything for me. It may be too late to help me and I may just have to keep paying child support until hades freezes over, but I feel that there should be some type of federal guidelines that the states have to follow when one parent, or both, are not in the original support state. It is infuriating that some states have the ability to work with the parents and when you happen to live in a state where the case workers, child support attorneys and child support judges don't really care about what's in the best interest of the child, you get screwed.

I would attach the responses from the states, but they have my name on them.


Child support is a state issue. The first home state keeps jurisdiction because then people would child support shop for the best states (some states child support goes to 18, others 21 among other differences). It will stay in OK unless the new state where the child lives takes over , accepts case and both parents don't fight it.


I slightly disagree with Ocean....when you were in CA and Dad in MI, you could have registered the divorce in MI and went from there.

BUT that's really a mute point now since you're back in OK.

Emancipation definition should always stay with the home state.

So....I would keep pestering and push Oklahoma for a hearing to update the record and update your CS obligation based on your current situation.  And go from there.  You might actually want to hire an attorney or do the one hour consult to get a feel about all the stuff you mention -- some of that is really irrelevant to today -- and some of it might not be, but an attorney is best at picking apart the "let it go stuff" vs. THIS is important.

If you owe, start paying through the system what you can.....

and best wishes.