Yes. But it is not easy. For instance, if you have just moved to Ohio, there are two separate procedures for modifying your custody and support orders. R.C. § 3115.39 details the procedure to register a foreign support order, and R.C. § 3127.35 details the procedure for registering a foreign custody order.
Bonds v. Bonds illustrates the potential disaster. 2011-Ohio-5867, 2010-A-0063. In that case, a party registered a custody decree and was permitted to modify it. However, when the trial court modified the foreign court’s support order, the appellate court invalidated the modification for lack of jurisdiction because the party did not register the foreign support order separately. Id. at ¶¶59-66.
The court stated that a trial courts’ jurisdiction to modify custody determinations under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is “distinct from its jurisdiction to modify a ‘child support order under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.’” Id., citing, Harbison v. Johnston, 130 N.M. 595, 2001-NMCA-51, at ¶14. The statutory definition of a “child custody determination” under R.C. §3127.01(B)(3) expressly excludes child support orders. Id., citing, R.C. § 3127.01(B)(3). Thus, Ohio’s child custody act expressly does not permit modification of support orders. Id., citing, Smoske, 2007-Ohio-5617, at ¶25 (footnote omitted).
When someone does not follow proper procedures regarding interstate custody and support orders, bad things can happen. If you have just moved to this area, and you need to modify an existing custody or support order, you should likely seek a legal professional’s help. Unfortunately, the process is not that user-friendly.
Matt Miller-Novak, Esq.
Source: The Gavel