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More on Interstate Custody and Support

Ohio adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which replaces the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA), effective April 11, 2005. The UCCJEA is a model interstate act adopted by all 50 states and territories which provides for the registration, enforcement, and modification in Ohio of custody determinations (or “parenting proceedings”) from other states (the “issuing state”). Such custody determinations may arise from divorces, separation actions, neglect actions, dependency actions, guardianships, paternity cases, termination of parental rights, or domestic violence cases. Not included actions permitting jurisdiction are juvenile delinquency actions, contractual emancipation or adoptions.

A custody determination issued in another state may be modified in Ohio when the court of the issuing state no longer has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction because the child and the child’s parents no longer reside in that state. Also, Ohio can obtain modification jurisdiction when Ohio is determined to be a more convenient forum. If either situation exists, it is necessary to register the out-of-state decree with the court; a certified copy of all prior custody determinations, including any modifications, is a prerequisite to registration. Upon proper registration, a motion to enforce or modify the out-of-state orders can be filed and then litigated in Ohio as though the orders to be modified had been issued in Ohio. Any modification will be according to Ohio law.

Child support modification jurisdiction does not automatically follow custody modification jurisdiction. Child support orders of another state may be similarly registered, enforced and modified either along with a custody modification or independently pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). As in the case of custody modification, a certified copy of all prior child support order must be filed with the registration.

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