A recent New Jersey Court declined to modify a child support order against Ahmad Bradshaw, a former running back for the New York Giants who moved from New Jersey to Virginia after he changed NFL teams. The judge’s reason was that the New Jersey court lacked jurisdiction to issue a modified order under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) is a model law that has been adopted by all states. It requires each state to enforce other states’ support orders so that states do not issue conflicting orders. It also dictates states’ jurisdiction over support matters.
In the case of Ahmad Bradshaw, who owed child support pursuant to an order issued on December 13, 2011, the issue was whether under UIFSA, a court lost continuing jurisdiction when a temporary order has been entered, but all parties have left the state before a final order or discovery schedule has been issued.
Relying on other states’ case law because this issue had never before been presented before a New Jersey court, together with comments to UIFSA, the judge found that a court lacks personal jurisdiction to modify support once all parties have left the state. He rejected the mother’s argument that she was not seeking a modification, but only a continuation of the original support proceedings, because New Jersey’s law does not distinguish between temporary and final child support orders.
The judge also rejected the mother’s equitable argument that Bradshaw’s delay in providing financial information should cause the court to retain jurisdiction, because courts cannot use their equitable powers to establish jurisdiction.
This case highlights a nuance of child support law that impacts the outcome of family court proceedings. If you or a friend requires legal help with child support or another aspect of family law, please contact the experienced attorneys at Petrelli Previtera Schimmel, LLC