– from Henry R. in Oconomowoc, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I were divorced in Wisconsin. She was awarded custody and I was ordered to pay support. She moved, with the children, to another state. She has petitioned for an increase in support payments where she lives now. I petitioned the court to terminate arrearages and decrease support payments here in Wisconsin. But who has jurisdiction?

Family Law Attorney Response:

There are many factors that courts consider when deciding on jurisdiction for child support. There are also numerous ways your case could play out in court. Often times it becomes very complicated and tedious.

For example, the case of Horch v. Ponik 132 Wis. 2d 373, 392 N.W.2d 123 (Ct. App. 1986) saw a similar situation and the husband and wife suffered many complications. The wife had moved to Florida and commenced an action under RURESA. Overall, the father had to show cause as to why he did not comply with the order and had to appear in court in Wisconsin over the matter on several occasions. He then had to make a motion for a termination of support and arrearages in Florida, where the mother did not appear. He then had to motion the court in Wisconsin to dismiss and terminate the arrearages accumulated in the RURESA action. The court granted the dismissal and termination of arrearages. The mother appealed, and the court of appeals reversed the trial courts decision.

My advice is to contact an attorney in order to navigate the complexities involved in interstate court proceedings.

Lawyer Jeff Hughes from Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.

Managing Partner

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