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Q: Renegotiate child support, divorced in MD, child & mom live in CA, dad in PA ( Answered,   5 Comments )
Subject: Renegotiate child support, divorced in MD, child & mom live in CA, dad in PA
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: ethylmd-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 08 Sep 2005 10:10 PDT
Expires: 08 Oct 2005 10:10 PDT
Question ID: 565684
How do I renegotiate my child support agreement? 

My divorce was filed in MD about 5 years ago.
At the time of the divorce, we both moved out of MD.

My ex-husband has lived in PA for the past 5 years.

I, along with my 14 year old daugther, and new husband, have lived in
CA for the past 5 years. I have sole custody of my daugther.

As per their divorce decree, child support was set at $300, well under
the going rate for MD, CA and PA.  The the only additional cost my
ex-husband pays are medical costs not covered by insurance.   At the
time of the decree, we were both making around $40k per year.  We are
now both making over $50k per year.

According to my research using the tools, I am seeing child
support amounts for MD as being around $470, PA and CA around $700.  I
used $50k for both our incomes and $330 for group health, ($110 for my
daugther), and a non-custodial visitation of about 20 days or 6% - I
fly her to PA over the summer to visit dad for a month - at my cost.

Recently he refused to pay $1800 in medical bills.  That along with
the knowledge that he is probably paying half of what he should has
ended my "nice girl" policy.

So is it possible to get the child support jurisdiction changed to CA,
and if so how?
Subject: Re: Renegotiate child support, divorced in MD, child & mom live in CA, dad in PA
Answered By: nenna-ga on 20 Sep 2005 19:54 PDT
Hello ethylmd-ga,

Oddly enough, this question came at a good time for me. I just got
done researching this exact same question in my home state for
someone, and so I had a good idea where to look. I have the feeling
though since the original order was in MD that it has to be modified
in MD, no matter the state you reside in. I know the same went for my
research when it was between NE and WA. It had to be modified in NE
even though the order was in WA and the payments were sent there.
Therefore, I?ll give you information on how to find that out for sure,
modification in MD, and some of the CA law as well.

Let?s talk about the reasons in MD that child support can be modified.

Since the divorce and support order was in MD, any changes have to be
made through the court system there. It?s called continuing
jurisdiction and it gives them the power to modify the order as
conditions warrant. Either parent in MD can request a modification as
long as the child is a minor.

The order has to be changed because there is evidence proving
sufficient grounds to change the order. In MD, changed circumstances
are that a parent?s income has gone up 25%. If in fact your Ex?s
salary has went from 40,000.00 to 50,000.00 (approx) that is a 25%
increase in change which means you have a good change at getting the
order modified.

Other reasons for modifying the child support order would be if the
child?s needs grow, such as illness or disability. Sometimes the
passage of time is enough, as a child gets older their need for food
and clothing increases.

However, support can also be decreased. For example, if the custodial
parent (you) got a large raise or inherited money, and he remained the
same it may decrease his payment as your ability to care for the child
has increased.

Be careful or oral agreements between you and the spouse. Make sure
the court is in full agreement of any changes in the child support. If
not, you can be held liable for what is overpaid to you. (modifying child support)

Child support is based on a number of factors such as:
Needs of the child

Age of the child

The ability of the non-custodial parent to pay (This can include the
earnings of a new spouse)

The earning capacity of the custodial parent (This can include the
earnings of a new spouse)

The other responsibilities of the parent

?In 1990, the Maryland General Assembly passed a law making it
mandatory for the courts to use Child Support guidelines in all cases
in which child support is sought?

The mathematical computation to determine the Guideline amount is
fairly simple. The Legislature provided a form which must be
# 1. Determine the gross monthly income of each parent. 
# a. Minus: alimony and child support paid to a third party and
alimony paid in this case;
# b. Minus: medical insurance paid for the child; 
# c. Plus: alimony paid in this case 
# d. Equals the adjusted income. 
# 2. Determine the percentage of each parent's adjusted income to the whole. 
# 3. Obtain the basic child support amount from the table 
# 4. Add to the table amount (if relevant): 
# a. work related child care; 
# b. extraordinary medical expenses; 
# c. and educational expenses; 
# 5. Equals the total support obligation 
# 6. Divide the total support obligation according to the percentage
total for each parent which is the amount which is presumed to be
correct but which is rebuttable and may be overcome. (Child support guidelines) (Child Support in MD) (Maryland Child
Support Enforcement Program)

You?ll need to contact a lawyer in MD to start this process and find
out the steps you personally have to take. You may also want to talk
to the lawyer about the 1800.00 in medical bills you were not paid for
as well. That may also be a legal issue.
(Maryland Child Support Lawyers by location)

In addition to what I mentioned above, let me give you some
information on finding out about how to move your support order to CA
where you now reside.

?Even when parents or guardians live in different states, a child
support case can be opened at the local child support agency. The
local child support agency can work with the other state to establish
or enforce the support order.?

A party seeking to enforce a support order or an
income-withholding order, or both, issued by a tribunal of another
state may send the documents required for registering the order to a
support enforcement agency of this state.
   (b) Upon receipt of the documents, the support enforcement agency,
without initially seeking to register the order, shall consider and,
if appropriate, use any administrative procedure authorized by the
law of this state to enforce a support order or an income-withholding
order, or both.  If the obligor does not contest administrative
enforcement, the order need not be registered.  If the obligor
contests the validity or administrative enforcement of the order, the
support enforcement agency shall register the order pursuant to this
California Family Code section 4946 a and b

A support order or income-withholding order of another state may be
registered in this state by sending the following documents and
information to the appropriate tribunal in this state:
(1) A letter of transmittal to the tribunal requesting registration
and enforcement.
(2) Two copies, including one certified copy, of all orders to be
registered, including any modification of an order.
(3) A sworn statement by the party seeking registration or a certified
statement by the custodian of the records showing the amount of any
(4) The name of the obligor and, if known: (i) The obligor's address
and social security number; (ii) The name and address of the obligor's
employer and any other source of income of the obligor; and (iii) A
description and the location of property of the obligor in this state
not exempt from execution.
(5) The name and address of the obligee and, if applicable, the agency
or person to whom support payments are to be remitted. (b) On receipt
of a request for registration, the registering tribunal shall cause
the order to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of
the documents and information, regardless of their form. (c) A
petition or comparable pleading seeking a remedy that must be
affirmatively sought under other law of this state may be filed at the
same time as the request for registration or later. The pleading shall
specify the grounds for the remedy sought.
California Family Code 4951

(a) A support order or income-withholding order issued in another
state is registered when the order is filed in the registering
tribunal of this state. (b) A registered order issued in another state
is enforceable in the same manner and is subject to the same
procedures as an order issued by a tribunal of this state. (c) Except
as otherwise provided in this article, a tribunal of this state shall
recognize and enforce, but may not modify, a registered order if the
issuing tribunal had jurisdiction.
California Family Code 4952

Now, the way that all reads to me is that you can register the support
order in CA, but they may not modify the support order since it was
issued by a court because they have jurisdiction over the order.

Every case is different, so I recommend contacting the California
Department of Child Support Services
( (Local office list) (CA Child Support Handbook) (CA Family Code) (CA Family Court Help Center) (Find a CA Child Support Lawyer)

I hope this helps you to understand how this process may work for you.
Contact CA first and see if you need to do the modification in CA or
MD. As I said, every case is different depending on the divorce decree
and since I can?t see your decree, I outlined the steps for you to
find out which court you?ll need to petition to modify. I have the
feeling it will be MD.

Google Searches:
california child support lawyer

change a child support order to CA

moving a child support order to another state

how to change jurisdiction of child support to California

maryland child support lawyers

maryland child support

maryland child support renegotiation

If this answer requires further explanation, please request
clarification before rating it, and I'll be happy to look into this

Google Answers Researcher
Subject: Re: Renegotiate child support, divorced in MD, child & mom live in CA, dad in PA
From: gozzy11-ga on 11 Sep 2005 07:01 PDT
you will have to get a ca lawyer but as long as you and the child
residency is in CA for a period of time 5 years is fine, then CA
family court can modify the child support
Subject: Re: Renegotiate child support, divorced in MD, child & mom live in CA, dad in PA
From: hope4agape-ga on 22 Sep 2005 14:00 PDT
Actually Mom, That is a bad answer, do not listen to it as it is wrong. 
Congress addressed your question either last year or this and past a
federal law. The Federal law then changed the california Law.
The new law is when a Child has resided in a state with the custodial
parent for a period continual time of 6 months. That state then has
jurisdiction over the matter.
I will post the California law later. I want to First WARN YOU,
California Family court is a Nightmare that will punish every child or
parent that enters it doors.
Let's first start with your presumption about the guideline. Listen
carefully, No one understands the guideline in California. Not the
Judge,you, your lawyer or the senate that wrote the law. See In the
Marrage of Feeney.
It is quite possible and mabey probable that you will get an increase
in child support.
However after that it is highly likeley that you may get less than you
are getting now. If your ex husband ever looses his job for any
reason. Then you may not get anything. The reason is in California
they will file a wage assignment. That is a friend of the court or
LADCCS will collect the money on your behalf. Please review the
following information
If your ex looses his job, then California Law says that:
1)His wages will be imputed based on what he was earning. 
2)once he falls behind by more than $100 
3)The state will suspend his professional license and drivers license. 
4)Federal Law states that they can and also that an employer can't
terminate the employment of someone that is in this posistion.
5)The effect of 3 and 4 is that he wont be able to get a job 
6)Interest accrues on any past due support at the rate of 10%
annually. That interest is paid to the state.
All of this can actually ruin his life, and have dire consequences on
the relationship with his and your daughter.
If you do decide to get a court order of california Ask the court to
stay the wage assignement and never file it under any reason. The
other posted suggested you get these people involved. Be very wary and
only do that as a last resort.

All that said, I am sympathetic to your cause. The issue is $1800, for
medical payments.
I would start By writing a Letter to him. 
In the letter state that you can take him to court and get a judgement
for both the $1800 and increase the amount of support that he will
have to pay.
Site the federal and state laws that allow you to bring the matter to
the california court. Also state that "The amount in dispute $900 or
half of the $1800 is not worth the cost that he would pay in defending
himself in the court action.
Remember that it is best for you and your ex to work together to come
to agreements. It is best as it reduces the stress in the relationship
with your daughter.
If you are still looking to press this matter in the court. Here is
the California and federal codes.
The Federal LAW is called The Uniform Child custody Jurisdiction and
Enforcement act.
That Law is interesting because it pegs the Childs continual residence
in a state at 6 months and then you can bring an action.
In some states that means if the child resided their you can bring the
action to thier court.
Maryland Law for UCCJEA 
 9.5-202. Exclusive, continuing jurisdiction.

 (a)  In general.- Except as otherwise provided in  9.5-204 of this
subtitle, a court of this State that has made a child custody
determination consistent with  9.5-201 or  9.5-203 of this subtitle
has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over the determination until:
 (1) a court of this State determines that neither the child, the
child and one parent, nor the child and a person acting as a parent
have a significant connection with this State and that substantial
evidence is no longer available in this State concerning the child's
care, protection, training, and personal relationships; or
 (2) a court of this State or a court of another state determines that
the child, the child's parents, and any person acting as a parent do
not presently reside in this State.
 (b)  Modification of custody determination.- A court of this State
that has made a child custody determination and does not have
exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under this section may modify that
determination only if it has jurisdiction to make an initial
determination under  9.5-201 of this subtitle.
B. A court of this State or a court of another state determines that
the child, the child's parents and any person acting as a parent do
not presently reside in this State.  [1999, c. 486, 3 (new); 6
 Under B you Can petition the California COurt to Determine they are
the Right Jurisdiction .

In Californias WIsdome they have said : 
3421.  (a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 3424, a court of
this state has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody
determination only if any of the following are true:
   (1) This state is the home state of the child on the date of the
commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child
within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the
child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a
parent continues to live in this state.
   (2) A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under
paragraph (1), or a court of the home state of the child has declined
to exercise jurisdiction on the grounds that this state is the more
appropriate forum under Section 3427 or 3428, and both of the
following are true:

SO the Proper Forum under COngress is Cal. 
If you are Successful, It does not end there. Your Ex Can still
challenge the order under the Jurisdictional argument. If he shows up,
and says the court does not have Jurisdiction over me he is likley to
win. Even though Congress says that it is the right state and the
Court agrees to hear it.
The supreme court ruled that the oppisite way in a case involving a
New york man and his California ex spouse On Consistional Grounds.
At any rate it may Cost you alot more than its worth. 
Please Take the least path of resistance first start by trying to work
things out with your ex.
Subject: Re: Renegotiate child support, divorced in MD, child & mom live in CA, dad in PA
From: expertlaw-ga on 22 Sep 2005 18:19 PDT
The answer and the comment are speaking of two different statutes -
the answer speaks of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
(UIFSA), while the comment speaks of the Uniform Child Custody
Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Under UIFSA, as the father has
no contact with the state of California, the state would have the
power to enforce a child support order that is properly registered
under the Act but could modify it only if the father consented. (He's
unlikely to do that if it would result in an increase in support.) If
he were to consent, California precedent holds that California may
apply its own guidelines in modifying the support. In re Marriage of
Crosby & Grooms, 116 Cal. App. 4th 201; 10 Cal. Rptr. 3d 146 (2004).

I do not know if Pennsylvania follows a similar interpretation of
UIFSA, but you may wish to consult a Pennsylvania family lawyer and
ask - if you can register the support order in Pennsylvania, and
modify future payments under Pennsylvania's guidelines, you may be
able to achieve a significant increase in future support. Please note,
however, that part of the public policy behind applying the state's
own guidelines may be the needs of a child residing in the state - so
it may well be that Pennsylvania would decline to apply its own
guidelines on the basis that the child does not reside in that state.

Under the UCCJEA, if you were to move to modify custody in California,
you could ask that the California court assume jurisdiction over the
custody matter. The California court would communicate with the
Maryland court about transfer and, if there is nothing pending in
relation to the case in the Maryland courts, jurisdiction would likely
be transferred to California. (The likelihood of this outcome
increases significantly given that, in addition to the child's living
in California, neither parent has any present contact with Maryland.)
Once California accepts jurisdiction over custody issues, you should
be able to petition the court to modify support under California's
guidelines. If you decide to try that approach I suggest you consult a
family lawyer.

Until jurisdiction is successfully transfered elsewhere, Maryland's
courts have "continuing exclusive jurisdiction" under the UCCJEA, and
you may petition for modification of support in Maryland under
Maryland law. You should anticipate that any modification granted will
be effective no sooner than the date of your petition, so delaying
your petition can cost you money.
Subject: Re: Renegotiate child support, divorced in MD, child & mom live in CA, dad in PA
From: hope4agape-ga on 22 Sep 2005 21:20 PDT
Thank you for backing up what I was saying law expert. Unfortuanitly
you are wrong about one point. The earliest date that the modification
would take effect is the date of service of the Father.
While california Law allows a Judge the descetion to post the date of
change as the date of Filing which they often do.
It is actually wrong the proper date for an "Initial Proceeding" Is
the date of Filing. However a Modification, Under Ca. Law also gives
descretion to this date but points the the federal law. The Federal
law mandates that any Modification can only be set at the date of
The Idea is that in a modification the support is already being
provided the burden then shifts to protecting due process.
Family Code section 4009 (section 4009) governs the effective date for
child supportorders obtained in family law actions, providing: "An
order for child support may be made retroactive to the date of filing
the notice of motion or order to show cause, or to any subsequent
date, except as provided by federal law (42 U.S.C. Sec. 666(a)(9)."
US code 42 666 a 9
C) not subject to retroactive modification by such State or by any
other State; except that
such procedures may permit modification with respect to any period
during which there is
pending a petition for modification, but only from the date that
notice of such petition has
been given, either directly or through the appropriate agent, to the
obligee or (where the
obligee is the petitioner) to the obligor. 

Your Biggest problem is Jurisdiction. Although Congress has passed
UCCJEA, They forgot about those supreme beings that sit on the High
They ruled in U.S. Supreme Court 
436 U.S. 84 

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment operates as a limitation on the
jurisdiction of state courts to enter judgments affecting rights or
interests of nonresident
defendants. See Shaffer v. Heitner, -200 (1977). It has long been the
rule that a valid
judgment imposing a personal obligation or duty in favor of the
plaintiff may be entered
only by a court having jurisdiction over the person of the defendant.
Pennoyer v. Neff,
-733 (1878); International Shoe Co. v. Washington, . The existence of personal
jurisdiction, in turn, depends upon the presence of reasonable notice
to the defendant that
an action has been brought, Mullane v. Central Hanover Trust Co., -314
(1950), and a
sufficient connection between the defendant and the forum State to
make it fair to require
defense of the action in the forum. Milliken v. Meyer, -464 (1940). In
this case, appellant
does not dispute the adequacy of the notice that he received, but contends that his
connection with the State of California is too attenuated, under the
standards implicit in
the Due Process Clause of the Constitution, to justify imposing upon
him the burden and
inconvenience of defense in California. [436 U.S. 84, 92] 
Thus IF your husband shows up and challenges the order on the Due
process he may have a case.
Also California is Wishy washy in thier law read it carefully. They
can say No we wont hear it. If you go to Maryland and get a release
from that court, Then apply for a california court to hear the case
you could end up with no judgement any where.
As you can see from the answers it is an issue that will require a
lawyer. It's not a simple matter and you and your ex husband are
likely to spend thousands. That would be better spent on your
Please take my advice, Write him a letter and try to resolve the
issues between you and him with out court involvement. Only as a last
resort seek legal advice and a lawyer.
Subject: Re: Renegotiate child support, divorced in MD, child & mom live in CA, dad in PA
From: expertlaw-ga on 23 Sep 2005 08:11 PDT
While 42 USC 666(a)(9) does speak to "the date that notice of such
petition has been given, either directly or through the appropriate
agent, to the obligee or (where the obligee is the petitioner) to the
obligor", in most cases that will be the date of the petition. That
is, most of the time the service will be contemporaneous with the
filing of the petition, and a proof of service filed along with the
petition. granted, there are circumstances where that might not
happen, but it appears that the present case involves parents who know
where each other live.

A Kulko analysis is more complicated than the above comment suggests;
although certainly it remains possible to get jurisdiction in
California over a custody matter while California's courts lack
jurisdiction to modify child support due to the non-custodial parent's
lack of contact with the state. Which is why any such strategy, as I
previously suggested, should be devised with the assistance of a
family lawyer. I do agree with the comment that any proceeding outside
of Maryland would likely require the use of a lawyer. You may well be
able to proceed in Maryland without a lawyer, by asking the child
support enforcement office to conduct a review. See the information on
the Maryland Peoples Law Library site:

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