Do Ohio Domestic Relations Courts Have Jurisdiction to Hear Interstate Child Support Petitions?
When Parents Unmarried, Action not Connected to Divorce or Dissolution
Ruby K. Pula et al. v. Adrienne Haunani Pula-Branch, Case no. 2010-0985
8th District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County)
ISSUE: Does an Ohio domestic relations court have subject matter jurisdiction to hear and decide an interstate petition for child support that was filed by a resident of another state under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) when the requested support order involves a child born out of wedlock and is not related to a divorce, dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment?
BACKGROUND: The UIFSA is a uniform statute developed by a national commission in 1992 and subsequently adopted by each of the 50 states. The statute: 1) assists the parent or custodian of a child in obtaining an enforceable child support order against a non-custodial parent who currently resides in a different state; and 2) prevents the issuance of conflicting child support orders by courts in different states by establishing an agreement that, once a valid support order has been issued by a court in one state, that state retains exclusive jurisdiction over issues of child support involving the subject child. Ohio adopted the UIFSA in 1998.