A change in circumstances is a common occurrence in post divorce matters. The financial status of either divorcing party can easily change following a divorce. Considering that financial obligations, like child support, are calculated at the time of divorce, changes in financial status are especially impactful for those making the child support payments.
However, there is another factor to consider when attempting to modify child support payments: the geographical location of the parties. Again, many things can change following a divorce—for example, either party can move from the state that initially granted the divorce. If that happens, it opens up a whole host of new questions. The foremost of which has to be, Which state should the party attempting to modify the child support payments file their petition? Choosing a state that has proper jurisdiction over a child support modification is critical because different states have different laws that could significantly affect what the revised payments are.
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) addresses this exact question and provides guidance as to which state has jurisdiction over the modification of child support payments. The UIFSA has been codified by every state. For example, in New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 2A:4-30.72a provides that a State has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over a child support order as long as the State remains the home of the obligor (the individual making the child support payments), the obligee (the individual receiving the child support payments) or the child who is the center of the child support order.