Can CA DCSS collect arrears for time when neither parent nor child were residents?

Question:

California issued an order in latter part of 2008 when the father had been a resident of Arizona and the mother moved with the child to Texas in December of 2007. When jurisdiction was questioned, DCSS said they could establish an order even though neither parent nor child were residents, because they opened the order in May 2007 before the mother and child moved. But they terminated support services and said the mother would have to enforce order in her new resident state. The mother told me she could get more on public assistance (cash, foodstamps, housing) and ended all contact. The order was re-opened in California 2 years later, because the mother moved back and started collecting public assistance. DCSS is asking that arrears be paid for the time the mother and child lived in Texas. Isn’t there a jurisdictional concern?

Answer:

If California had jurisdiction at the time that they filed the initial case, then they likely would have maintained jurisdiction until and unless that jurisdiction was changed, though likely on a permanent basis.

Once child support was ordered, that Order would be enforceable anywhere in the US that the paying parent was located, even though another state may have had jurisdiction.

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-Wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
City North: 5450 E High St #300, Phoenix, AZ
East Valley: 1830 S. Alma School #114, Mesa, AZ

West Valley: 623.218.1000
Phoenix: 602.997.7717
East Valley: 480.636.1333

To read more of Phoenix child custody law attorney Patrick Sampair’s answers on Avvo and be sure to check out his child custody page, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly at: http://www.sampair.com/.