An Orange County judge's decision to increase the amount of child support paid by a man with residences in two states was upheld by the Fourth District Court of Appeals recently. The court also ruled that the father's rights were not violated under the equal protection clause.
The father had brought suit based on a California judge's order requiring him to pay both a higher monthly amount of support and arrears totaling $170,000. The judge believed the father had been dishonest in reporting his income from an accounting business he conducted in both states. The father claimed that since the mother had taken the children back to Ohio, that state's jurisdiction prevailed.
The case began when the mother and two children moved to California to follow the father who had taken a job in Orange County. However, upon arrival, she says she found that her husband had been unfaithful and returned to Ohio with the children. The father filed in California for the return of the children, but that proceeding was stayed and the Ohio courts took up the case.
The Ohio court set an initial child support amount, but the Ohio Supreme Court later ruled that the order was invalid because the mother had lived in California for only 40 days prior to the filing. The father moved to have the stay lifted in California where the court awarded a higher amount of child support to be paid retroactively. The father argued that the mother had never submitted to the jurisdiction of a California court and that the Ohio order should be used.
Questions of child support can be very complicated, as this case shows. A divorce attorney can provide parents with sound advice about how to handle child support disputes and resolve them.
Source: Metropolitan News-Enterprise, "C.A. Affirms Support Increase After Jurisdictional Challenge," Kenneth Ofgang, Oct. 23, 2012
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